Today Someone Dies

by Renwick Berchild

Ten years ago I saw someone die.
A thin beatless heart tugged from an outlet; there was
Singing, a high aria reverberating throughout the cave.
We all tipped and tipped as darkness
Slipped and slipped,
Waking us from the stupor of a life
Trapped in an hour,
Waving flags we had made
Lives and lives prior.
I never saw that room again. Never laid
A rose in it.

Five years ago
I saw someone die.
A squeal of hot rubber, a body
Impacting and contorting in ways it looked like a doll.
A dummy, not real, but so real
—The blood.
Ever seen a goose shiver after its head’s been lopped off?
So dented and bent his belly was gone.
A man with a mop had to come and clean up the blacktop.

Three days ago I saw someone die,
On the news.
There was a pop!
A toppling blue and black jersey.
Living beings swarmed him, like crows surrounding
A piece of fresh flesh, I grew restless,
Unable to close my eyes until the next morning.
I turned on the news and watched someone die.
I turned on the news and watched someone die.

This morning, I saw someone die.
It was a dream. It was a memory.
A photo album alerted me, and I hear:
Dana’s bike was found at the point.
Dana’s body was found at the lighthouse.
Dana’s body was found crushed on the rocks and she did it to herself.

I think about things. I think about
Shoulda, woulda, and coulda beens.
Summer rolls in and the lake waters spray me,
Tossing her corpse on my doorstep,
Winds wailing.
I open a window. The air,
It’s new. I open my chest up. I feel
Breath, and the stinging cold.
A little life falls out of me. It’s good. It feels good.

I rock myself back and forth, holding it, until it’s spent, and she dies.

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