Let us begin by briefly drawing
attention to your inevitable death.
We’re sorry if we’ve startled you by writing
so directly, but we worried you
might not otherwise notice, since
you’ve ignored several clear signs
of your demise: the steady rupture
of filaments in old light bulbs,
your car’s plaintive whine, and the pastel
colony multiplying across the Life
brand loaf in your breadbox.
We admit, some of the attempts
to remind you of your limited tenure
among the living were rather obscure.
The squall of the child next door
was, at times, barely audible,
and the ants would only on occasion
march at a pace that allowed
you to observe them carrying
off the parted corpse of some fellow
creeping thing. We remain hopeful
that your mother’s occasional calls
will one day trick you out of your complacency.
However, if you cannot learn how even
the perfect flourishing of a bird in flight
performs the poem of your death, this
body will remain to show you how again.
Joshua Jones received his MFA from the University of Massachusetts Boston and is pursuing a Ph.D. in creative writing at the University of North Texas. His poems have appeared in The Woven Tale Press, The Windhover, and Dappled Things among others. He has reviewed books for the American Literary Review, Breakwater Review, and The Boiler.