Alive or Dead

You are either alive or dead
one or the other
there is a clear boundary
distinct like the River Styx

a comfortable
clarity you can
crawl into and
close the door

each morning
the mirror shows
the same face
staring back at you

familiar, reassuring
no sign of tumor cells
dividing haphazardly
no sign of beta-amyloids

amassing in the brain
no evidence of neurons
dying by the trillion or
arteries clogged with plaque

no Drano can cure
no sign of death’s long arm
guiding a skiff
pushing a pole

through marshy waters
until imperceptibly
you are more
dead than alive