Dying

January, 2014
 

Old age bears down like a Hummer on a narrow one-way street.

I lean helpless, shrinking against the pallid walls

while nurses corner our sterile bed sheets.


Where’s the light the soul-bird seeks? Where’s the exit into heaven?

Not yet. Wait, stand against the wall, grateful you can stand,

and recall mist obscuring the field, its vibrant slope, green and gold.


Year after year I watch jacaranda roots thrust knee and ankle,

stick and stone, force sidewalks to yield and succumb to purple

robes like a queen unwillingly gowned, or sea on a sunless day.


The Hummer’s bang will lift me like a rocket,

melted with stars, until I meet the endless populated night

among other dead protesters who also possibly reclined


in fields of yellow poppies with some blue-eyed lover, long

before the Hummer was invented, and fed their pregnant bellies

on corn and pepper they planted, eggs from hens in their yards.


John enjoyed a peaceful death although he never returned

to tell me about the day his sibilant breath beside me

paused between bubbles and forgot to resume.


Thus he launched, while I lay still. I stayed to wish

a buen viaje for him and please, for me, save a seat inside

the ether where urban jacaranda blooms on heavenly high,
 

its petals drifting like violet eyes down to earth, I imagine like

the Little Prince, filled with transcendental thoughts.

If Felix comes he’ll read at four o ́clock, the chapter marked.
 

I can rise at three, warm in fuzzy socks; my feet please his royal

heartness hidden beneath an obligatory nametag. At the window we

glance beyond the chimney roofs at beckoning sky, differently dying.