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After the Last Ecstatic Days

Updated: Jul 11

A poem by Sage Cohen

Artistic blurred image of a pink flower on green field.

with gratitude and love for Ethan Sisser

I will not wait until I’m dying to swerve

the car away from the tree

to come up out of the basement

and tell my mother I am an adult

and I get to decide to shred the suicide

note to hold the hands of strangers

love does not wait for death

to decorate us in flowers to splay us

in hospital rooms it does not demand

an audience or evidence

let me brush the singing bowl of breath

with this kiss let me make the crossing

beyond the woman I have been

to the place where my beloved

opens his arms at the threshold

embodied, empowered, ecstatic.

Hear Sage read her poem:

After the Last Ecstatic Days Sage Cohen


Sage Cohen is Poetry Editor for Certain Age, the author of craft books and poetry collections, and the founder and fairy godmother of the WE WRITE online community, where she guide poets and writers in cultivating an inspired and impactful creative life.  

Note from Sage:

This poem was written in response to the documentary “The Last Ecstatic Days” that accompanies Ethan Sisser, a young man with terminal brain cancer, through his final days. Through this man’s fierce commitment to dying with grace, we are offered the profound transmission of witnessing a death without fear. It broke me open deeper to the opportunities of embodiment. Thank you for standing with me for a moment here on the threshold of life and death, known and possible.

Image Credit:

JR Korpa from Unsplash

231 views6 comments


I just love this. Like every word was placed with a tweezer.


Though the poem was lovely indeed from the get-go, I was able to appreciate it so much more after googling "Ethan Sisser" and discovering his story and that this was not a private acknowledgment. Perhaps a note or a linked highlight of his name would bring other readers more fully in (?)


What a lovely, fiercely lovely poem. So nice to be reading your words again, Sage!

Replying to

Thank you so much!!


Jean and Sage! This is exciting stuff and I relish the poem

Replying to

Thanks so much!!

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