Listen to Eugene Gloria read this poem.
Dying, if anything, would be
a modest tribute to my impermanence.
A disappearing act
like a rabbit in a top hat, or sheep,
as they say, lost in the mist of time.
Jeromy who was tending the Rhode Island Reds
told me in passing that Raymundo,
the Great Pyrenees dog, had died some time ago.
And though I shouldn’t have,
I felt a sadness drape around me like a black mantilla
Lorca would’ve worn around the house
when he was feeling droopy. Raymundo who was
charged with guarding the sheep
in the meadow had dropped the ball one night
and let the sheep escape on his watch.
The great escape had caused such hullabaloo
that it woke me from happy sleep.
A year ago, I almost died
and made my loved ones cry for days.
I was reading Montaigne at the time
who said something about death
being just another door in a house full of doors.
Death is a process we need to go through
even when it’s inconvenient. But know this,
dying will mute all future disappointments—!
Before she died, I saw her,
my mother burning brightly by herself
the way flowers do in late summer.
Then it was the incriminating trail of evidence—
dust from our skin, the constant ash fall
of graying locks, and mutinous muscles,
the lallygagging limbs, all say what time it is.
When death comes a-calling, no koan
from any guru will matter much.
There won’t be no other “now,” I reckon.
What comes, shall come unbidden.