LITANY In my dreams, you cannot stop dying. Your death a continuum, ceaseless and laborious. Eternity isn’t the afterlife but the very event of your passing in whatever form my unconscious can shape. Your long death is a pool party—naked bodies withering in green foam, part zombies, part relics. It is a gas station where I can’t fill my motorbike. Fuel and blood are stuck in the pumps, perhaps frozen. It is bread I store for hungry refugees—piles of rotting loaves going to waste. It’s a room within an ancient palace. Facing the four corners, we are whispering words that vaults amplify by some acoustic wonder. In the equivalent of a hall of mirrors, we are sighing trivial confessions, stale secrets. As you did night and day, remember? Your voice muted, an inaudible rasp muffled by the oxygen mask.
Toti O’Brien is the Italian Accordionist with the Irish Last Name. Born in Rome, living in Los Angeles, she is an artist, musician and dancer. She is the author of Other Maidens (BlazeVOX, 2020), An Alphabet of Birds (Moonrise Press, 2020), In Her Terms (Cholla Needles Press, 2021), Pages of a Broken Diary (Pski’s Porch, 2022) and Alter Alter (Elyssar Press, 2022).