How to Come Back From the Dead

How to Come Back From the Dead

First, go through all the necessary channels

of dying: seeing the light, entering

the glowing doorway, walking into the arms

of loved ones on the other side,

whatever your personal style of dying is.

Allow yourself to lift

out of your body, to let go,

and focus on the sound of floating

in water. Ease into the loss

of feeling in your limbs

as they become the swish

gently lapping around your ears.

Welcome the elation that will arise

as you drift through

your chosen channel.

There must be someone present in the room to call your name,

or squeeze your hand. There must be something you forgot to say

to someone you didn’t realize you loved until now.

There must somewhere you always meant to go,

and one thing you never held in your hands.

These too, will act as a weight

to pull you back into your body.

Notice the ticking of the clock, the footsteps on the linoleum,

the chattering of neighboring voices, the music playing in the background.

Use these outside forces to track your senses as they re-awaken.

To assure yourself that this is reality,

start counting. When you get to the number

that equals your age,

open your eyes.

Julie Valin

Julie Valin has been writing poetry since the first Loverboy album came out. Her poems have appeared in The Black Shamrock, The Poeming Pigeon, Chiron Review, Red Fez, Rattlesnake Review, Primal Urge, and several anthologies & collections, including the Punk Rock Chapbook series by Epic Rites Press. She is also an editor, book designer and self-publishing consultant for her business Self to Shelf Publishing Services, and a co-founder of the celebrated after-hours poetry press, Six Ft. Swells. She surrounds herself with books, literary happenings, art, throw pillows, saltwater taffy, and her group of friends whom she performs with – The Poetry Crashers.


  1. This work is solemn and wise. If only more poetry can be composed with such composure. Well done.

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