On all this dying that I do

Join The Dillydoun Review in celebrating National Poetry Month with

A Poem by Annie Woods

I often think dying is
annoying, like a grade school bully
boinging my curls. And dying is
inappropriate, like laughing in church
when laughter knows there’s a time,
and a place, and it’s not in God’s face.
Mostly I think dying is
because humiliation knows no vessel
like the human body in decline
and when I clutch my chest in
cardiac arrest, I am reminded of
the blood
seeping through my shorts
sophomore year of marching band,
knotting a hoodie around my waist
to conceal my biology.
I think dying is, above all,
a waste of time. I sat, dumb in the limbo
of the living and the dead,
and the waiting, and the pity,
and the looks. Dying is
a desert
where people expect you to swim
and the sand is heavy
and the air is hot
and just when you think
it’s the last breath you’ll take
it’s cruelly followed by another.

Annie Woods is a recipient of the Stephen C. Barr fellowship for Creative Writing from Wichita State University. Her work can be found in Gigantic Sequins, Hobart, A VELVET GIANT, and great weather for media. Her manuscript was accepted to the Tin House 2020 Nonfiction Winter Workshop under Esmé Weijun Wang. Annie is from the heart of Texas; she often writes about illness visibility. In her free time, she likes to wear lipstick and spin in circles.

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