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The body aches
To come too,
To the light,
Transmit the grace of gravity --Rebecca Elson

Antidotes to Fear of Death

--by Rebecca Elson, Aug 15, 2022

Sometimes as an antidote
To fear of death,
I eat the stars.

Those nights, lying on my back,
I suck them from the quenching dark
Til they are all, all inside me,
Pepper hot and sharp.

Sometimes, instead, I stir myself
Into a universe still young,
Still warm as blood:

No outer space, just space,
The light of all the not yet stars
Drifting like a bright mist,
And all of us, and everything
Already there
But unconstrained by form.

And sometime it’s enough
To lie down here on earth
Beside our long ancestral bones:

To walk across the cobble fields
Of our discarded skulls,
Each like a treasure, like a chrysalis,
Thinking: whatever left these husks
Flew off on bright wings.




Rebecca Anne Wood Elson (2 January 1960 – 19 May 1999[1]) was a Canadian–American astronomer and writer.


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