Rejecting truths that linger.
Embracing fears while dodging desires.
Craving an exodus to roam amidst the clouds
untouched by pain and worry.
Who are we to declare, “you cannot die today”?
For how will our denial survive?

Death is a constant guest.
Lurking in the shadows as ideas slowly perish,
as relationships fall away unwillingly but naturally.
Dissolution quiets conversations to the point where they
eventually cease.
Demise drifts unnoticed into calcified hopes only
to explode as a myriad of doubts.
Its haunting persistence influences and withers souls.

Yet, like veiled drifters, our gaze is obstructed.
Accepting society’s scripted norms as
personal safety commands our consideration.
Immortality waves its hand seductively
while our intentions are tossed into the wind.

In a seemingly bitter world, refuge is sought in a different chase.
Death by Netflix, substances, and all the procurable pleasures.
Exhaustion becomes a masked facade of the easily attainable.
Such a cruel disguise.
We escape toward comfort,
a familiar cradle.

Who are we to declare, “You cannot die today”?
We need you for our denial to stay.

A dance with mortality as the shadows are kept at bay.

This poem reflects on the human impulse to reject the uncomfortable and embrace denial as a coping mechanism. Our preference to escape from challenges and seek refuge in various distractions and pursuits is our goal. Which result in a delicate dance between facing mortality and the comfort found in denial.

I am guilty of this behavior as I seek, unconsciously or consciously, distractions from some of life’s challenges. I do the dance everyday as ideas, desires, hopes, relationships, loved ones, nature, fall to some sort of elimination, departure or death.

As an artist and writer I am able to work through much of the discomfort that comes with life’s various events of mortality. Getting it all out in the open through words, colors, textures, shapes, movements, etc. has saved my life on many occasions. The discomfort does not evaporate with each piece. Resolution rarely happens and, frankly, is not the point.

The process itself is a means to move on, not solve.

Michelle Lindblom

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