Ever since she was young,
She heard stories about what happens after death.
She heard stories about heaven and hell, and everywhere in between.
She heard stories about forgiveness and salvation and redemption.
So when she decided to greet death as a friend one lonely night
On her bathroom floor, she thought she knew what to expect.
As her head leaned against the porcelain of her bathtub, she
Waited for the warm feeling to overtake the chill that came
From watching her blood pour onto the linoleum. But death
Didn't greet her like an old friend, or even like a relative
That she saw once a year at the annual Christmas party.
In fact, death didn't greet her at all.
If anything, it seemed as though she became death.
From her vantage point, slumped against the back
Wall of her bathroom, she could see her razor blade
On the far side of the sink, and the cut running
Vertically down her right arm, open and exposed.
She tried to move her head, then her arm, then any body
Part, but her brain seemed to no longer be in command.
She waited, and waited, and waited.
She watched the sun creep down the tiles on the wall,
And then back up again, and then back down,
Until she heard a sound at the door.
A distant knocking ricocheted off the
Walls of the bathroom and a soft voice followed.
She tried to speak, to scream, but she remained silent.
She heard footsteps growing louder throughout the house
Until finally they went silent, and a hand pushed on the door.
A scream, a shrill blood-curdling scream followed.
And then talking, and more knocking, and more voices,
And more screaming, and more footsteps, and more voices.
Until finally, men in white uniforms entered the bathroom,
Lifting her from her position against the wall. She tried
To speak, again, but nothing came out. They
Laid her on her back and suddenly her world went black.
She couldn't calculate the time spent in that bag because before
They zipped it up, they shut her half-opened eyes.
She heard more footsteps, and then cars, and then doors,
And then metal on metal, and then voices, and then doors.
Eventually, everything went still. No more footsteps,
No more voices, no more doors, no more screaming,
No more talking, no more knocking, no more screaming.
Everything remained still for a long time.
Longer than she could even care to remember.
She imagined this was death, the absolute end,
The kind of silence that wrapped around her like a coat.
But then everything wasn't silent.
If she was able, she would have sat straight
Up in a cold sweat, looking around frantically.
But she remained still and quiet as the soft noise
Made it's way around her eardrum like a vine.
She felt something touching her face, something
Soft and thin and pointed.
She focused on the object.
And then realized, it was a root.
The roots of the grass and the roots of the flowers
That were growing above her had finally come to
Reclaim their rightful space in the cold earth.
She wanted to scream out apologies to the roots,
And beg them to just let her go back to where she came from.
She begged the earth to spit her out like a rotten piece of fruit,
Back into the bathroom she so desperately wanted to escape.
But the earth was set on taking back what was rightfully theirs,
And that included her.
Slowly, over an excruciatingly long period of time, the roots
and branches and dirt found their way onto every surface
Of her once pale skin. It wrapped around her neck, nestled
Into her crevices, and poked at her soft spots, until there
Wasn't an inch that wasn't graced with nature's touch.
So she stopped begging the earth to leave her, and
Started welcoming the earth to embrace her,
Until finally, it claimed her again.