Allerseelen | all souls | a poem

writing is an act of assembling ghosts


I am familiar with everything your body contained

and that you left behind

when you stepped into formlessness


we found each other in a space that nobody else can see

the strings that death tears off from life

stretch and spread like feathers into infinite selves


I perceived you long after you were gone


and they mock everything into submission in their heads

and shrink and shrink like self-erasing puppets


grief and love are cut from the same cloth

as tears stem from a spring


I looked hard at your death

I sat in the absence of speech

the lack of explanations

the intrusion of silence

words become sign language

I looked at your dead face

and in almost incomprehensible ways

you’ve felt more alive over time

more present

there’s no presence without absence


we stem from a collective body of deaths


I sit here by myself

and you’re so close to me

it makes me cry


there was an empty room

there is a place of ashes

but you’re on my skin

you’re in my hair

across my fingertips


we exist through imagery


your shed physicality found warmth in my hands

My own drawing © Laura Gentile 2021 | Instagram: @melpomenepaintings

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