Death is a knight, a worm, an old whore,
a sallow gentleman, a clown, a doctor,
a cocked revolver, a cock, a rotten cell.
Death is what we do but don’t do well.
We’d put a foot through death, our highest garden,
what we follow, love, last-minute pardon.
Death is our stripped bones, our babies, wrecks
on shoulders. Death is tantamount to sex
or separation, change in government,
appendix, river, turret, unpaid rent,
a footrace, spinning wheel, a blanket, bomb,
balm, a cozy ride. Death is Mom,
the dollar, pill, a notice, social function,
sun, rain, air, extreme unction,
funny, black, white, the full moon,
a season, song, met with a long spoon,
flame, frame, fish, a fine distinction,
obvious as hell, a wish, prediction,
wave, waking, wandering in a fog,
a pitch, a promise kept, a cat, a hog,
a teacher. Death has sour breath
and gets us all fagged out. Death is death.