Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.


– Erin Hanson

Perhaps we’re not afraid of death

But of our own name plucked from the air

Of the silence that surrounds a thing

That’s just no longer there. 

For we never really know

The lifespan of a single sound, 

How many years after a body stops 

A name will stick around.

Perhaps it stretches generations

Echoes one last time, then never,

Until the space it filled’s replaced

By its unknown loss forever.

Or maybe there’s another way

It lives after we fade,

It’s why we write our names’ on books we own

And all we’ve ever made.

It’s a sliver of remembrance

In a world prone to forget,

The taste of who we were

On lips of one we’ve never met. 

The hope they’ll stumble on the stories

We have loved, worn down with age,

That there they’ll find what we had left:

Our name upon the cover page.

And for just that fleeting moment

It’s as though we’ve beaten death,

That in the whisper of those words

We have taken one more breath.