Expiration Date

When you learn your days really are numbered,

and that’s not just something sadists say in movies

to give the good guy something to do

or generate sales of buttered popcorn,

you don’t panic or reach for an aspirin tablet

to gobble in an effort to stave off

that long-awaited heart attack,

but rather relax in an attitude

of tranquilized paralysis.

After all, death has been

patient enough to wait your whole

life for this moment, and so have you.

No.  Instead, take a deep breath,

and thank God or whatever the secular

equivalent of that tired concept is–

love, nature, life itself–that there are

still kind people left in this world; you’ve

done your part, and though the strongest muscle

in your body has kept you going this long,

it’s time for the meaning of forever to change,

at least as far as you’re concerned,

and for that thing that calls itself the ego,

the self, the soul, to shut up for a change

and turn into something else–a flower,

a fruit bat, a flatulent blast from a peat bog,

or a patch of moss on a stone grown cold

that refuses to roll anywhere anymore.


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