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On Survival/Off Death

Sarah Bartlett

Dawn is a gun shot,
but less humane.
Tell yourself
again each morning—
the bed will never
not be empty.
Being dead is easier
because it’s over—
our therapists
aren’t bullshitting.
My father located
his own crumbling bridge,
and stands underneath,
looks up. Waits
for joints to break.
Some of us
don’t need to read
the last page first:
we try to get ready.
We fail.

Sarah Bartlett

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