Blood on a Cat's Neck

Coughing is the language of death
with its hacks, rasps and swallows
as distinctly out there
as the clickity tock of Xhosa
or the sonic singing of whales at sea.

Yet what is Death telling us
when it speaks, however abruptly?
Is it even speaking to us?
Or is it just interrupting
like a bored bystander
compelled to fill the dead space
with involuntary spew.

I’ve listened to
and cringed at
and even ignored
plenty of coughs in my time.
And I’ll say this much:

Death’s not talking
about the warmth of the womb
or the furious friction of cock and cunt
or the time before that,
before consciousness,
before the unconscious,
before the before
if you can imagine such a thing.

Death’s forward-looking,
a pragmatist who thinks like a plant.
Be still, face the sun, rise, collapse.
Be done with it all.

About the Author
Drew Pisarra: As to my writing background, I've toured my monologues ("Fickle," "The Gospel According to St. Genet") to such spaces as Highways/L.A., PICA/Portland, Bumbershoot/Seattle, and the Maryland Art Place/Baltimore. Recent poems have been picked up by "St. Petersburg Review," "thoughtsmith" and "Torrid Literature" while another, "18 Kisses of Significance," was turned into a short film by director Laura Rebecca. Future Tense published my short story collection "Publick Spanking" eons ago.