death poem

words by: Lillian Grace

visual by: Upneet Aujla


There is only one sentence I’ve been trying to say in every poem leading up to this point:

There is something about the life I’ve been leading that makes me crave stillness


Syllables only live on red-eye flights and redder-eyed girls

Words are the way my hair tangles

And by now, I know what it feels like to be held the right way and the wrong way

And looked at as if I am an entire city

I am not an entire city

I’ve never wanted to be anything more than a moment

A split second decision

I write instruction manuals into stanzas as if my breathing pattern wants a safety net

As if my death will be untimely

As if I will be the one to take care of myself during a humid summer night and the only evening where pearls will look beautiful on my collarbone


So settle me in a skylight

Suspend me in midair long enough that all of my blood begins to live in my hands

Let me control my own dangerous

Lose sight of my own caution

Lose track of my own solution

Leave me lost

Unheard of in my own story

Unrecognizable by my own name

Unknowable by my own heart


Render me hopeless by listening to my voice alone

Kiss me senseless until there is no voice to listen to

Understand why my palms are where I feel the truest ache of lust

There is nothing quiet about my waking in the middle of the night

So listen to the podcast of the voices behind my eyes

There is a way to puzzle out the reason

I have not found it yet

My secrets are rings I have dropped at the bottom of every lake I went swimming in when I was a child


Falling asleep has gotten easier

Holding my dreams has gotten more terrifying

And I have gotten more and more aware of the strength in my own body, boundaries and all

Silence and all


My religion only worships the goddesses that are my fucked up ankles and the one sunrise I have ever seen


I kiss my own knuckles with every breath

There is a way out



by Upneet Aujla, 2019

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