Stephanie Driessel, Sightseeing

When exploring death,

is there a beginning

where the living can begin the tour?


First stop, folks. Here we see “disbelief.”


Then moving on, stay together please. Next up is “sorrow.”


But grief is nebulous—can you hold it close?


Left alone, it transforms and hides behind your memories, shifting again and again, becoming the tipping point between disbelief and anguish,


That brief pause at the top of the roller coaster, before you fall into the pain.

The moment you feel nothing, weightless, painless—


It morphs.


And then with a rush,

plummeting through your denial,

stomach in your throat,


you remember.


Sock feet whispering softly on the chilly floor,

the cold seeps through thin fabric and sends shivers and then goose bumps

in tandem up the length of my weary body

as I float through a fog of sleep and shuffle to the bathroom.


I forget.


Wobbling on the edge of the precipice,

for two magnificent minutes I forget.


Banish me to disbelief. I long for it.

Let me swim in the dark bottomless waters of denial

rather than face the truth

waiting for me

at the end of my short midnight walk.


The sheets are cool against my skin and the grief washes over me in heartbreaking waves.


All I want is oblivion

or madness.

This tour of death for the living is a loop; there is no beginning, no end. No end.

No end.

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