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Death holds lease with me                              



As age has assumed space in me

I find myself with a new companion

of no gender, no body, no expiration date

with cutting hardness in his voice,

weight to his chilling touch,

whose name is etched into my gut,

we all have given him a private name


He prefers to move with shadows

his ghosted voice no sound

coating us in a shroud of mourning

as he embraces our beloveds

with deadly tenderness

a forever fastness that does not share

leaves a vacant hollowness in the air


In these late years he has taken up tenancy

in my most private abode, quietly watchful

muted in daily doings, a hidden contagion

content to wait, color me with wisdom,

add weight to my voice, create complexity in my laugh,

until some day, some where, to some melody

we will do our last dance together


Sharon Lopez Mooney, "Death holds lease with me", published in The Mindful Word, ed. Collective Members, Quebec, Canada, 07.23.2021,

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