Undead Speech

Abby Prior
2 min readMay 15, 2021

Sleep winds its tortuous way

Difficult to find.

Are there pools of water here?

Tell me, my dear, is this an illusion or a lake

Or perhaps the Jordan

With the Promised Land on opposite banks.

Did I imagine being so close to drawing in its waters?

They say death is always near

And the water that is life enfolds in oblivion.

“Teach me to do Thy will for Thou art my God.”

My soul draws nigh unto Sheol.

In Italy, she sang.

In Italy, land of persecution and opulence

The first time I saw a baptismal fount

And a saint.

Whispers reverberate off of stone walls.

Praying, but we cannot read Italian.

I saw all of you overlooking the hills

But I could only see them in my mind.

Do you not know everything approaches the End?

What if it is bright today

And I am shrouded

Hedged in

“Breath,” she said, and I screamed as she held me

And the rest of you went to church unsure.

“My face, mom, isn’t normal. My face is half falling off.”

Pray for me.

When I pull away embrace me tighter

For I cannot stand on my own two feet Or walk without a cane

I cannot dance

Be near to me, O be near

For I cannot see you

Though I spread out my arms and feel nails in my feet And am too aware.

Open mouth, face contorted Helps to ease the pain.

Stop and look, oh stop and look But do not mock

In the East Christ does not show pain.

I am neither living nor dead

But oscillate between sleeping and waking

As one dream between another.

Do you love me? Would you tell me?

Would you let me know I exist

As more than a ghost.

Would you swaddle me for like an infant I cannot think

Would you carry me I cannot walk

And speak for me I cannot speak

And drink for me I cannot yet partake.