Featured Poem: Antidotes to Fear of Death by Rebecca Elson

Today’s Featured Poem is Antidotes to Fear of Death by Rebecca Elson, read by The Reader’s Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator, Jess.

Antidotes to Fear of Death

Sometimes as an antidoteTo fear of death,I eat the stars.

Those nights, lying on my back,I suck them from the quenching darkTil they are all, all inside me,Pepper hot and sharp.

Sometimes, instead, I stir myselfInto a universe still young,Still warm as blood:

No outer space, just space,The light of all the not yet starsDrifting like a bright mist,And all of us, and everythingAlready thereBut unconstrained by form.

And sometime it’s enoughTo lie down here on earthBeside our long ancestral bones:

To walk across the cobble fieldsOf our discarded skulls,Each like a treasure, like a chrysalis,Thinking: whatever left these husksFlew off on bright wings.

By Rebecca Elson 

‘Antidotes to Fear of Death’ appears in Rebecca Elson’s poetry collection ‘Responsibility to Awe’, published by Carcanet Press Limited. Reading rights for this poem have been kindly granted to us by Carcanet Press Limited.

Isobel Lobo

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