If This Is a Death I Still Have so Much to Be Thankful For by Bailey Cohen

I’ve been so terrible
lately and so ugly too,
yet this has all so conveniently
provided reason
for my vanishing.
I start first with my left
hand, watch ash turn
into air, dispensable thing,
you were never as useful
as my right hand, which,
when it disappears, will be
much stranger and much
wiser than my left hand.
I do not yet know how this
will show itself, perhaps
as tiny miniature hands
straining their wrist-necks out
of my fingertips. Alternatively,
my right hand could be
more pruned, soaked
by the river. At this point,
the moon has only mostly
disappeared, and with it,
my left arm, up to my
shoulder. I am a miracle
of physics, balancing
effortlessly despite my
body’s fascination
with naught. It will
only cross my mind
when only my mind is left
that there must be something holier
than all this becoming
of a ghost. If this is a death,
I still have so much to be
thankful for, all of my atoms
harmonious in their surrendering.
For instance, my brother seems wholly
intact. Unable to see what is happening
beneath the surface of the water,
he sees only my floating head,
foolishly assuming there is more
to me than this. Across the bank
where we are swimming, I watch,
voicelessly, a bird leap,
then evaporate.

 

Bailey Cohen is a queer, Ecuadorian-American poet studying at NYU. He is the editor of Alegrarse Journal, a contributing writer for Frontier Poetry, and a Best of the Net nominee. Bailey’s work is forthcoming in publications such as Boulevard, Boiler Journal, and The Penn Review, and has appeared in Raleigh Review, The Shallow Ends, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and more. He loves everyone Latinx.

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