Photograph by Alex Majoli / Magnum for The New Yorker
Death Is Coming
Death is coming, and I can’t stop it,
even if I were an Angel with a flaming sword
I can’t halt Death’s advance
I can’t afford bus fare to the funeral.
So many words left unsaid,
Not in anger, but in love.
Words unspeakable on the phone,
Because I need to see their faces,
I need to see their eyes,
And I want them to see me.
Death is no conscious entity—
No Seventh Seal, no Sandman
But a very big can of insect repellent
Wiping us out, indiscriminate,
(This is not news.)
I love cemeteries, I love the sleepers in the ground,
With their tombstones, their names,
Their stop and start dates.
And I know—more to come.
Not strangers. The ones I love.
And I still won’t have bus fare.
November 3, 2017