Advanced Thanatology

most days / I imagine my death

in color /or as an itchy ache


tangible as the calamus

of goosefeather needling through


the fabric of the blanket

on my bed / discomfort taking


the place of warmth / for example

the dream of my death is a study


in red / where I am young

and my mother is always there


insistent as the sunrise / and alive

by which I mean / her existence


in that dream is the reason

I have never been able


to believe / I will grow old

the most natural thing in life


I’m told / is a child will bury

her parents / not the other way


around /so it must be that I am not

as god intended / my wants unnatural


and crude / for example I didn’t love

that blanket til it hurt me


but after that I couldn’t sleep

without the ache / for example


I didn’t know I feared my mother

until I realized / she would age

*This poem borrows its title from an episode of the TV show, Supernatural


Raye Hendrix is a poet from Alabama. Raye earned a BA and MA in English from Auburn University and is an MFA candidate at the University of Texas in Austin, where she was a finalist for both the 2018 Keene Prize for Literature and the 2018 Fania Kruger Fellowship in Writing, and where she serves as the Online Content and Web Editor for Bat City Review. Raye was an honorable mention for poetry in both Southern Humanities Review’s Poetry Prize Honoring Jake Adam York in 2014 and AWP’s 2015 Intro Journals Project, and received grants to attend the Juniper Summer Writing Institute in 2016. Raye's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Southern Indiana Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Shenandoah, The Pinch, Cherry Tree, and elsewhere.