Tick tick

I will die.
I’m smoking a cigarette
maybe my tenth one of the night
and there’s a pain in my chest when I breathe in now
so I try to just breathe out
try to find a way to suspend this process
this tick tick tick of the timer counting down.

I can feel the neon red digital face of alarm suspended above my head now
and I’ve not been breathing for even twenty years yet
modern science suggests my time is far from running out.
The other day my friend said he expects that we’ll live to one hundred and fifty
that medical intelligence is expanding exponentially
and I said to my other friend today
‘I wonder where we’ll be in a month’
She said
‘You could walk outside and get hit by a bus’.

I don’t think my skin has ever soaked in the warmth of the sun,
ever been so drunk on blue sky or my parents sweet simple love
as I was this afternoon.

Maybe it’s not healthy to think about time so much
I’m not superstitious but I’ll tell you
I avoided buses like the plague today.

If I could have my way
I would crane my neck in all sorts of directions
If it meant I could glimpse mortality’s ticking face
I would want to know down to the microsecond death’s time of arrival
map a timeline of my own survival
trace the tracks of my blue veins
walk each step in time with their rhythm
their pulse
and be able to brace myself for the stop.

..the quiet fading of my blood song
the end of the road
destination unknown but at least I’d know when I was close
at least my horizon of expectation would be more than a hazy, false mirage
hanging on the outskirts of my coast.

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One thought on “Tick tick

  1. “the quiet fading of my blood song”

    What a beautiful phrase – the image is really elegant but there is also a really nice meter (stressed/unstressed syllables) …almost a pulse across the line. Beautiful!

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