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I tap them out into my palm,
Snowy-white and pearly-shaped,
One for every jeer, one for every laugh.
I tap them down, down my throat,
One for every taunt and spit and curse,
And they tap me out, into another world,
Sleepy and dreamy and foggy and cloudy.
“I am ready,” I say to the swirling mists, and
They whisper back something of slight sadness.
“No,” says Death. “You are not.”
And I wake to inky blackness.

I cut, I bleed, I sink, I try.
Red is a beauty outside the body,
A drop for every tear I shed.
If only I could cry red, they would know
How much it hurt to breathe and hear
And listen to all they said.
And if only I could cry red,
Death would possibly, possibly
Be more kind, for when I say once more:
“I am ready.”
“You are not,” is all Death replies.

I imagine, I think, I firmly believe
That Death is the kindest of us all.
For when does Death ever glare
And ever exclude? And ever gossip
And is ever lewd? All Death has said
Are words of saving; all life has given
Are lessons in slaving:
Destroy the weak, obliterate the different,
Throttle the throats of those
Who speak in dissonance with thou!
Beat them, kill them, burn them to the ground!

Death is the one who accepts, who
Welcomes the wayward with wide arms.
“I am ready.” “No, you are not.”
Even to Life, Death is kind.
Even to Life, Death offers a chance.
“I am ready.” “You are not.”
Everyone needs a second.
“I am ready.” Third time’s the charm.
“If you insist, come in, where you’ll belong.”
Death’s reluctant sigh is my parting breath.
Death is the kindest of us all.

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