A defiant violation of the laws of futility,

memorizing poetry shortly before you

are going to die.  It seems a daft

endeavor, attachment to that which

you can’t bring along to the grave,

beautiful words penned by someone

else, another who fretted a lot

about death before he finally

succumbed, surrendering

to silence.


But what else is life 

and the will to survive

if not the denial of one’s

own death and overwhelming

evidence of mortality,

the only surefire cure

for overweening pride

and rash displays

of foolishness?


And while it is, perhaps,

bad form to yearn for death

despite having been thrust

in the current and learned

how to swim for life, 

there’s likewise something childish

about longing for longevity,

as if your own existence

were worthy of a medal,

or any more indelible

than that of everyone else

erased by the looming

tidal wave of time,

the hooded cobra

poised to strike.


The same water that feeds your thirst

waits patiently to drown you,

just as you, who are also water,

risk drowning in your self.


Although I may have wasted

most of my life trying not

to make too many waves,

I guess I’m ready

for the end, to say goodbye

to everyone and everything–

yes, to die–not that I’m delighted

to depart, or thrilled 

about the aftermath,

whether it begins

as a cold exit through stolen

soil, or a bath of fire

after the irrelevant intermission

of life’s turbid lure,

an abrupt return

to nothing.


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