Facing a person expiring you see the wisdom of death concentrated like a black pearl, Sink to the bottom of the sea's inky gaze
And pierce your own bubble
Adrift in the slimy weeds like an unsuspecting octopus

It jerks you awake and pulls you open like taffy
Freeing you from the easy struggle of too many arms 
And the coagulated truths in your over-sized head
No longer clear who is rising and who falling
Or whether it was kindness or envy to point that out

In either case you’re drinking and drowning
And there’s a kind of shame in that as well as the sense that it wasn’t polite to unmoor you
Who wanted to be the anchor 
And not the tears and arms aflailing

But the dying person always knows better
Is wiser, stronger and further along in getting sober
Than you are


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