Death

365 notches

One more year
dribbles into the basket.
At this point
it hardly bears noticing.
Really…
my wife had to tell me
that tomorrow
is my birthday.
I would have pretended
to make a fuss,
if I had known…
but I didn’t.
Forty-six,
after all,
isn’t all that notable.
Honestly…
it just becomes
another notch
on a holding-cell wall
(ok,
that might be
a bit maudlin
but I’ve earned it…
and these three whiskeys
are driving the bus
now).
So, light a candle,
sing a song
and pretend you care
(that’s a note
for both you
and I)
for yet another circle of the sun
has occurred.
Sláinte, Mazel tov and all the rest,
and happy birthday for me,
from me
to you.

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The son of a king

We shall become
loving vultures,
picking at the body
while decrying
the very same.
He is hardly cool,
to the touch,
and we will begin
the endless wonder
at what made him thus,
and what marked
his greatness.
We have said little
of loving words
on his behalf
for the last
five
years.
What do we really mean
when we adorate
post-mortem?

One more leaf

I watched
as one of autumns leaves
tumbled across the road,
it’s golden silhouette
illuminated in the headlights
of an early morning commute. Thousands still
lie matted to the ground,
wet and turning to pulp.
In the trees overhead
millions more shone
in amber,
gold and green…
turning to browns.
We marvel
at autumns turn,
expressing in awe
our thoughts
on this beauty
born of summers death.
We never do this,
though,
in our daily lives.
Most of us shun death.
My neighbor died,
yesterday.
His people came
to say goodbye.
I have lived next to him
for almost a decade
and I could not be moved
to cross the line
between his yard
and mine.
I had known he was sick,
knew it was fatal,
and I never reached out.
He was turning amber,
gold and green
and I never tried
to find the beauty.
I knew, even as it unfolded,
that this was a failure
within me.
But this morning
one leaf tumbles
and in it
I see the loss.

Mouldering

I am plagued
by repete
sickness.
I am too familiar
with the ins
and outs
of a great many
anti-biotics.
Sinus…
tissue,
lungs…
all have been plundered
by infection.
I would never have made it
in the middle-ages…
they would have buried me,
just to ease
my suffering
and save themselves.
For now
I cough endlessly
and bring up
thick,
dark-green mucus.
It feels
productive.

I know I’m dead

The comedy routine
was pre-recorded,
the comedian
long dead.
The jokes were funny
and so I laughed.
It was odd,
though…
because I knew
he was dead.
He didn’t, though.
He was on tape.
It made me wonder:
Could he have known?
He was doing his thing,
working his craft,
but he was now dead.
We are all
“Doing our things”
and we will all
be dead
eventually.
What do we know
of that?
It’s there a window
to peek through
and see
This eventuality?
It is far too easy
to do so
from this vantage point
in the present
looking back.
But otherwise
impossible.

Don’t go into the light

I think we have
our motifs on death
backwards…
at least in one regards:
the light we see
when the end is on us.
Last night
I stared
at the crack of light
that poured through
the door frame
from the hallway
into my room.
I squeezed my eyes shut
and it reappeared
behind my eye-lids
as a black bar:
its perfect echo,
reveled in negative.
Could it be
that those who have come near
to their own demise
are not bringing back
tales of seeing the light
of heaven,
are instead
misguided
and weren’t o
heading towards
“The Light”
but were instead
drifting towards
the blackness?
Have we been desiring
the wrong sort
of afterlife?