for John Thomas
Death taps me on the shoulder this morning, and says
“we need to talk.”
“indeed we do,” I say, & stare him squarely in
the jaw. “What have you been doing with
yourself,” I ask.
“managing gravity,” says he, “speaking of
which you’ve been avoiding me.”
“averting, not avoiding,” says me.
“that’s semantics,” he says.
“You see me, I see you. I’m okay with being
mortal – why can’t you accept defiance –
why must you constantly stand over me while I work
you make it hard to focus.”
“You’d have no work were it not for me,” says he.
“Who died and made you god,” says me.
I move close enough to smell his
breath, and tell him he doesn’t stink like dostoyevsky said –
“you’re not the hot shit you think you are. Keep your hands off
my aunt sally – keep your hands off
poetry – what makes you think you can mess with
poets – stay in your corner, keep out of mine.” He asks
“Why do you move around so much – do you think you
can escape me?”
“as long as I have moving parts, I’m going to keep moving &
I’m not going to stop even when those parts give way.”
(c) jayne lyn stahl
Published in "Riding with Destiny," NYQ Books, New York