If I should die tonight
there is nothing left out of place
except for all that will not happen
and cannot ever now be.
This is not a matter of testament or surprise,
some premonition I cause to be unjinxed.
I hope and even plan to breathe
for thousands of other evenings
and on most of them without this simplicity or clarity.
I do not fear this moment or that,
I may then but not now.
I do not fear the snake that wriggled across
the path this morning as we walked,
nor do I take its presence to have some other meaning.
I do not fear my fear
for I expect it and know it now
in the way that I will feel it then.
There is a moose painted on a canvas
hung up high on the wall.
There is an open door
and a cup of tea all but entirely drunk.
There is a stuffed white bear
no bigger than half a leg
and pretending to be polar.
Random things and many close to my heart
and some with complicated backstories
of acquisition and ownership both,
but on some other night these surrounding objects
will be different but not so very
and then they will disperse,
most lasting longer as matter than I will.
No matter. Really.
So many of us before and so many after
with so little consideration for anything but ourselves.
The availability of socks,
the presence of love,
football scores and songs,
electricity and floorboards and refrigeration,
and finally, in all their forms, pens
to write, in all its forms, on the paper
that will also one day burn by fire or water
or wind in mindless delight.