Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Poem: "In Death As In Life"


In Death As In Life

In some city, Trieste or Udine…

            Pier Paolo Pasolini, “The Day of My Death,” translated by Mary di Michele


Your mother wants her body
donated to science, she wants
            to be useful
in death as she is in life,
            to brain,
            eye, uterus,
and even skin researchers.
She wants to be all used up.

We are more selfish. You wish
            to be cremated
and for your ash to run across
            the Great Lawn
            we live by,
lift off like a warm grey scarf
            before landing
on grass you have traveled to.

I surprise myself by wishing
            my ash dispersed
over the sea south of Singapore,
the city-state I have left behind.
            That’s too far,
            you complain.
It’s not, I say. Come August
I’ll show you the exact spot.

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