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A Good Death

When she comes, death deliver my last pulse--
My limbs cooling, all energy closing in;
Unspeakable knowing kissing my terminal breath
Combing my matted hair, sweated into dark pillows,
Returning me to the vast, perturbable realms of new creation.
          Requiem aeternam dona eis, domine
          Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

I shall be birdsong, burrow the bark of trees,
Share soil with dampness and beetles, and
With the shroud's worm sail on green fusion,
Singing my bones into rusting cannons of our last war.
In my good death I forego my distinction.
I go interred to mud, into the eternal song,
My ancestors invoking my sweet trouble into their midst
Of which there is no end, no beginning, no flush of separation.
May the name of this be spoken from my forehead: Awen.
          Requiem aeternam dona eis, domine
          Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Copyright © 2007 James Lawer

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