Let my last words linger in the air before I even realize I’m gone. Let my last dance be forever unfinished like a story that cuts out right before the cut-and-dry conclusion. Let others paint in whatever ending they deem fitting.
I want to die in the open air.
In a sleepy sand-filled town near the sea. In a field of yellow flowers speckled with sunshine. In a patch of green grass on a mountain. In the coolness of a green forest under a blue sky. In my lover’s lap.
I want to die after my time has come and gone.
After I’ve cheated death once or twice. After I’ve become close friends with the horizon. After my country understands that our inherent selfishness is killing us. After at least the next two decades. After I’ve found home, wherever it may be.
I want to die safe, seen, and loved.
Safe with myself and gentle with my scars. Seen for my intense empathy, corny jokes, and questionable taste. Loved-simply and truly.
I want to die as close to the truth as I can.
Curled up next to both happiness and sorrow. Curled up to genuine kindness and trust. Curled up with Yejide Kilanko, Audre Lorde, Chika Unigwe, and Clementina Suarez. Curled up on the knife’s edge of the paper.
I want to die when I’m old and wrinkled.
When I’ve left my little corner of the earth better than I found it. When I’ve learned to take the risks as they come. When I’ve experienced both emptiness and fullness to their most heartbreaking extents. When I’ve greeted all of my emotions as welcomed guests.
I want to die as myself.
As curly silver hair and golden heart. As deep-set lines that read like a map to all the people I’ve ever called home. As a mind that’s still too sharp and a heart that’s still too tender.
I want to