We tease our zaftig death out. It’s not as easy as it looks.
We agree to stare until the sound of the carriage comes
to carry this white flagged passing. And, then, after the noise,
in trots the caretaker carriage drawn by no horse and no man.
It clutches it away in its excited mouth, a mother tugging
her baby back. She doesn’t taste the pay off, this kiss off.
You could say we brought it on. A scheduled summoning.
Please be here after six. Don’t knock three times. No,
third time’s not the charm. No three strikes you’re out.
Come ‘round the back to pick it up. We don’t want to air
this out for everyone to see. If there’s a death and no one sees it,
did it really happen? If only the newly dead knew they lived at all?
After all, neither of us runs behind the buggy’s leaf springs.
We don’t poke the pram, Why are you here? Did the neighbors call?
No time to revise the obituary. What’s dead is dead. We wouldn’t
want an open casket in our hands. It would just be an argument
starter. Like: he makes more money than me. Like: if this isn’t
my thong, whose hips were thrust into it? Like: explosion.
Even Gymnasts Get Hurt
Safety comes first. Don’t merge
bank accounts. Don’t buy a house.
If you must, don’t put it in both
of your names. Never change
your last name. Don’t have a baby.
If you must, give it your good name.
Dot the i’s. Cross the t’s. Do this in pencil.