Antidotes to Fear of Death, by Rebecca Elson
Sometimes as an antidote
to fear of death,
I eat the stars.
Those nights, lying on my back,
I suck them from the quenching dark
til they are all, all inside me,
pepper hot and sharp.
Sometimes, instead, I stir myself
into a universe still young,
still warm as blood:
No outer space, just space,
the light of all the not yet stars
drifting like a bright mist,
and all of us, and everything
but unconstrained by form.
And sometime it’s enough
to lie down here on earth
beside our long ancestral bones:
to walk across the cobble fields
of our discarded skulls,
each like a treasure, like a chrysalis,
thinking: whatever left these husks
flew off on bright wings.
For more information on Rebecca Elson, please read her fascinating obituary.
Words by Winter: my new podcast
Thanks so much to Alison for curating these beautiful poems.