your experiences with death are fleeting
but they are there to rub your shoulders
and hold your hand
and kiss you on the forehead at night
they will be there for you
through every waking moment
to break the habit of cold sweats
and colder sheets
they will nip at your heels
and feed the worms under your house
they will bathe you in warmth
like an old sweater
and they will watch as you donate them
to those more needy than you
and they will never forget the words
you wrote on the inside of your wrists
with ink more permanent
than any promise you ever made