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"The traditional fearsomeness of death (at least when thinking about my own) comes bearing a paradox that's been palpable to me (and slippery) since childhood. Visually, I guess the paradox would look like a moebius strip, the inside twisting around to become outside...I was finally able to slow it down enough to catch the sensation and pace it out and tack some words to it. The writing of the poem doesn't drive out the fear, but at least makes some space for the consistent surprise of the thought to land."
—Lia Purpura

Gone

Lia Purpura

It’s that, when I’m gone,
(and right off this is tricky)
I won’t be worried
about being gone.
I won’t be here
to miss anything.
I want now, sure,
all I’ve been gathering
since I was born,
but later
when I no longer have it,
(which might be
a state everlasting, who knows?)
this moment right now
(stand closer, love,
you can’t be too close),
is not a thing I’ll know to miss.
I doubt I’ll miss it.
I can’t get over this.

Copyright © 2013 by Lia Purpura. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on October 16, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Lia Purpura. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on October 16, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Lia Purpura

Lia Purpura is the author of three collections of poems: King Baby (Alice James Books, 2008); Stone Sky Lifting (Ohio State University Press, 2000); and The Brighter Veil (Orchises Press, 1996). She is also the author of two collections of essays: On Looking (Sarabande, 2006), a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, and Increase (University of Georgia Press, 2000). 

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