After my Death

2011-08-19 11.28.54

Over the last decade all the members of my immediate family have died and I have had time to contemplate my own mortality.

Don’t let me slumber in death.
Don’t lay me out like a King,
with a pillow for my crown.
When I’m dead, don’t stuff me and lead
the grieving past in solemn lines.
Don’t fold my arms to X the spot
for vows of memory too tarnished
to inspire.
Please don’t cleanse me in a fire;
I object to burning food and
The grubs have promised
to remove unsightly flesh.

In the desert they found a man entombed
within a jar, a womb of clay.
His skin, a paper mask, peeled back;
his limbs, like those they found
in volcanic debris on Pompeii,
were curled expectantly.
Yes. Posture me like that –
like I was born;
anticipating pain, and fear,
and space.