Tag: Brendan Bense

Four Steps to Disappearing

There is nothing all people do

but glide into the uneasy weight

of death. Here, too, we start:

You are eight and sun dries

off the body before you’re out of the water.

At thirteen another impermanence,

knowing fireflies are alive by the way

they blink. You place a hand over

your chest and feel it rise and tumble.

Twenty, a formal dance

with a woman and how a night

can’t swallow ballroom chandelier fire.

Finally, how stars dissolve into

water and air and dark: maybe with sound

but not anything you will hear

until it has allowed itself to catch up to you.

Two Questions, One of Which You Answered

Here’s the first, if you ever see this:

what would you leave behind, stranded

in the woods, and given the option?

I anticipated pragmatic survivalism:

cutlery, tents, loose ends, a t-shirt.

The last time we saw each other,

all I remember is asking the second:

are we so sure

that the sun, just before

it climbs over the forest top in the morning,

is really anything worth rising for?

And to both

I imagine and remember you say

it’s the body you’d leave behind;

and for that we rise, too,

for the body we left


NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN