Of Course Death

By Roy Mash

Of course death is on its way,
       and life’s a blink,
and yes the unexamined one sucks,
       and doubtless
we’re well-advised, periodically,
       to expose ourselves
to the nuisance of these truths,
       waggling their
fingers with their thumbs in
       their ears, ever
heckling us with the raspberry
        of our mortality.

Still, we cannot carpe every diem,
       squeegee the universe
of each last moment, shovel our
       noses 24/7 into
the coffee or the roses or
       what-have-you.
Virgin-bedding stratagems aside,
       some days, maybe
even most days, the unforgiving
       minute’s happy
just to be left alone, frittered
       on some dopey
soap opera, or stewing over
       a parking ticket.

And don’t give me that Zen-Of
       bullshit. We’re not
talking some meaning-soaked
       Satori of the ordinary
here. We’re talking real waste.
       Total inconsequence!
Nothing anyone would want
        to remember
on a deathbed say, or say
        put on any list
of the ten or even ten-thousand
        must-do’s before
life’s last banana cream pie
        in the face.

Soon enough things will be
        otherwise. Soon
enough the shrunken figure
        struggling up
the sloped sidewalk, stopping
        every three steps
to gaze around, to weigh
        each dear
unrepeatable breath,
        will be us.
Soon I will myself come
        to regret
making so much fun
        of it all,
even as my tongue reaches up
        to wipe
the mustache of milk
        one last
time from my upper lip.


Roy Mash is the author of Buyer’s Remorse (Cherry Grove, 2014). He holds degrees in English, Philosophy, and Computer Science. He currently doodles his time away staring out of windows, dabbing up the seeds that have fallen from an everything bagel, and mentally thumbing over his poems that have appeared in journals such as AGNI Online, Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, Nimrod, Poetry East, and River Styx.

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