Cento for the Ways We Do Death

by Jared Beloff

My days are numbered, just like yours,
because time is the only god I see
vacuous white silence of space and time
The present loops past the future
I suspect this will be my new home—
your plain pine box
still open to the world.
the future: vast, unstoppable, incomprehensible.
I never took too much space,
too tight, to tighten our bonds
there is a comfort in shrinking.


In order of appearance, this cento borrows the title and lines from: Daniel Edward Moore (“Ways We Do Death,” Issue 12); Francine Witte (“Why do you ask,” Issue 12); Jake Street (“The Passion,” Issue 17); Stephen J. Golds (“The Girl with the Dead Flowers in Her Room,” Issue 17); Elizabeth Mathes (“Stepping Sequentially Through Time,” Issue 14); Jad Josey (“Upon Waking,” Issue 17); Natalie Marino (“Tomorrow,” Issue 18); Lucy Narva (“Sharp and Sour,” Issue 12); Gretchen Rockwell “Dead Animals and Other Things I Avoid Thinking About,” Issue 15); Sabrina Ito (“Atrophy,” Issue 13); Gerry Stewart (“Growing Through the Sidewalk,” Issue 14); and Ashley Bao (“Apologies to Every Empty Flower,” Issue 16).

Jared Beloff is a teacher and poet who lives in Queens, NY with his wife and two daughters. You can find his work in Contrary Magazine, Rise Up Review, Barren Magazine, Bending Genres, The Shore and elsewhere. He is the editor of the Daily Drunk Magazine’s anthology of Marvel inspired poetry, Marvelous Verses. His work was nominated for Best of the Net 2021. You can find him online at www.jaredbeloff.com. Follow him on twitter @read_instead.

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