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Burning, Raving

by Aaron Sandberg

“Do not go gentle into that good night, 

Old age should burn and rave at close of day; 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” 

—Dylan Thomas

They are souls seeping into 

the hospital curtains 

to prove the lie of goodbye. 

There they hide—refuse to rise. 

Each ghost still hungry, eats, has eaten. 

Nothing nourishes nor sustains. 

They remain in fluorescent lights 

confused for whites of an afterlife 

before the night nurse knocks 

them free to float, beaten. 

They will not be contained 

in caskets, plots, nor urns. 

They do not go gentle. They rest in pain. 

Up in heaven—they toss, they turn.


Aaron Sandberg has appeared or is forthcoming in The Offing, Asimov’s, phoebe, Lost Balloon, Flash Frog, Phantom Kangaroo, Qu, Alien Magazine, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. Nominated for The Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, Best Microfiction, and the Dwarf Stars Award, you can see him—and his writing—on Instagram @aarondsandberg.

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