There is a filmstrip running in my mind
like on one of those clackety-clack projectors
I used to watch in science class. Only
instead of answering a question
that I never asked about how plants eat sunlight
or the size of dolphins’ brains. I am left
with images of myself shot from an omniscient perspective.
I can hear the laughter of my friend who died alone
as we all die, as I will someday die, as I am dying now.
I’m not sure what I’m saying to make her laugh.
My words aren’t captioned. I’m not that person anymore.
There are other faces burned from the film blurred
by drownings, other cancer. Does it matter? They say I survived
when my mother died. I suppose I did. Though daily I am diminished
like a faded newspaper on a park bench
on which I will someday sit
when the reel is finally empty
and my lips sound out words
I can no longer read.