Thanatos, or Something Gentle

there’s a quiet rage 


around my neck— 

i’ve been a cowering 

dog, snarling 

at impermanence.

at night i  

hide under lamplight from the three 

knocks on my wall. i cover 

my nose to  

ward off phantom roses—i pierce 

papers with unforgiving 

black ink and hope 

something stays… 


i wanted something 

deeper. i could not  

let go of unearned 

grief, for so

long wanting to sleep myself 

into the trees, the bedrock—

i couldn’t imagine 



but i want to be softer now. i want

to banish 

the trembling awe, the chilling

possibilities— i want 

to let warmth in

and let truth go. i want to live

untied, foolhardy, unfettered by

the chase of understanding.


i’ll grapple hope 

and tie a black 

ribbon around it. i’ll cover 

the mirrors, silence

the dog, turn over the shoe 

under the bed. i’ll pray over  

blue mornings, and talk 

like the rain.  

i can choose love. 

i can turn off the light 

and wait for  

nameless things.  

-Ceci Webb

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