The Last Day, 2003

On the last day before I pass,
still breathing before I close my eyes—
what could I say of life, alas?
With what could I my life surmise?

Will I on bed-sheets die alone—
or in a hospital with friends?
Can I before that day atones—
before that long walk begins?

Or will it be tomorrow—
by nature, sword, or fire?
Never will I know the sorrow,
as I lay atop the pyre.

Is there something else inside this case—
that outlasts the flesh and bones?
Or will nothingness replace—
despite our sins atoned?

Will I in a pine box lay—
silent underground?
Unmoving as the small worms play—
if I’m to this body bound?

If I inside just ride along,
regardless of the shore beyond—
will anyone of me sing a song?
Will God himself at last respond?

Or will the one under our feet,
grab me by the hand, and—
lead me into night?
Or bury me head first in sand,
and set my feet alight?

Or trap me in a violent storm,
because of my lustful ways.
Or will I again just be reborn—
and forget all prior days?

Perhaps I’ll fade in midnight’s fog,
and scatter with the breeze.
Or be reborn as a mindless dog,
and scratch all night at fleas.

On the last day of my life—
where will I even be?
Will I have a child, a wife—
to remember and honor me?

Will I even know I’m dead—
or like a firefly blink out?
Will I in that moment dread—
and like a human shout?

Could I crawl a kerosene staircase—
and set the steps alight?
Another day again will place,
the blindness of the night.

Before a preacher in a tiny bed,

beside a radiator hums;
listening to the hollow words he said—
from where will the last man come?

Where went those silent hollow men—
their heads nodded in song?
Away do they sway in wind—
as we phantoms walk along?

We like insects stalk the night;
roaches run from the sun.
The shadow figures pass from sight,
like roaches we too run.

Constricting as a ball of string,
horse flies around the face of God,
before to the golden shore death brings,
we continue to poke and prod.

What in that deathbed would I say?
Or in my death-throws sing aloud,
would I in silent mourning lay—
or look outside to clouds?

Perhaps in the clouds outside,
far from wafting window curtains blow—
to all my questions, death replied;
the dark to me he showed.

Or will I of childhood sadly think—
as there by floral curtains lay?
Will I simply nod and blink—
with nothing of my life to say?

Will I lay alone in a pine box coffin—
and hear creaking wood overhead?
Or will burning flames surround me,
forgotten, lost in hell?
As heaven passes by my head,
there is no one to tell.

On the last day, what will I think—
of all my life and trials and things?
Will I out of space-time blink—
regardless of what memories may bring?

Regardless of what those ancient books might say—
will I stand on the threshold of the night?
Or delusional in a pine box lay—
and like smoke pass out of sight?

If one memory of this world,
I could forever keep,
to take with me to stars—
it would be of my family,
and all my childhood scars.

If one memory of your life,
you could keep with death addressed,
would you take a photo of your family—
dressed in their Sunday best?

Happen chance, you might, at glance,
take a picture of the sea.
Life dangles on a string of chance,
in the dying dark you’ll see.

Maybe in that same dread dark you’ll speak,
to the preacher by your bed, with words,
though surely this is not too bleak,
though you die still sings the birds.

Will I wake up in the dark—
or stumble onto golden shores?
Will I hear an angel’s harp—
or walk on mirrored floors?

Will I then just like a leaf—
fall from a tree reborn?
Or hear angelic harps and lutes—
and not think of earthen scorn

What memory would I take with me,
it’s not easy to say.
Maybe a picture of my family,
when we were all together on that day.

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