i have rassled with death.

i have felt his breath on my bare breast and the nape of my neck.

he has tasted my sweat in all its noble defiance;

felt my pearl-like bucked front teeth

penetrate his massive, web-like hands

that snare souls with a delicate, deliberate swiftness.

the love and prayers that surrounded me then,

penetrated the air like the light, white smoke of a freshly lit incense of myrrh.

it traveled into his nostrils and brought on a great sneeze that forced him to release me.

he has looked into my eyes and seen my promised tomorrow;

allowed my clairvoyant cries of NOT YET to settle this matter.....for now.