White in the Corners of My Mouth

I don’t want to live
through my children,
squatting down again
beside their hearts
(elbowing organs
out of the way)
so I could give
a good stretchpullandturn
like I was

I don’t want to die
together with someone,
like we were tourists
on a cruise-liner,
lying back in the splotched
sun-swept sky,
with two sips
of raisin wine, wrinkled,
to tide us over
till the rest

No, I want to die
alone, and under my
beating heartarmsandlegs
like I was fighting
the last battle at Thermopylae,
blood and bone split
together with a spear,
your hand, folded into
mine; and I’d open,
letting go.

-W.B. Hurst

This poem has been accepted for publication in The Blue Route, the literary journal of Widener University. You can view the journal here.

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