If you could have the cat's nine lives, would you?
To live not fearing death, not once, not twice,
but eight times, confident of landing on
your feet, and walking off to speak of it.
Would life be better lived having been lived
and having faced the biking accident,
the bungee rope snapping, the heart’s big break,
the bite, the bed, the bomb, the bone, the bug?
And what is death if it entails no end?
Nine lives means nine beginnings—not nine ends—
nine middles cramped with pain or yawned to sleep,
and insufficient training at bravery
to face with whip and rod the quiet cough
as green-eyed death stalks you on velvety paws.