Thank you, Sass. I wrote this poem almost a decade ago, but never tried to get it published because I thought it was maybe too negative… I just sort of hid it on a flash drive, in a folder I call my “Mid-life Downer poems” (there are several moping around in there, keeping each other dour company). It would probably have stayed in that folder forever if not for you! When I read your piece “Standing Still” in 25 and Other Lies I was like “I need to dig out “How Men Die” and send it in…” “Standing Still” is more positive and has that awesome happy ending (and he says yes), but the piece as a whole is gut wrenching in the same way. I’m trying to say you inspired me to make that poem public, and I want to thank you. It’s now officially the most read piece of writing I’ve ever had, so wow.
For anybody who hasn’t read Sass’s “Standing Still,” here it is: