A ten act play to remember death is imminent:
I Victorian death photography
A picture is worth a thousand words. Cut out a piece of your heart and glue it in a locket.
II Five cent hobo coins
Even the indigent need currency to cross the river Styx. Close your eyes forever and see me on the back of your eyelids.
III The Death card in a tarot deck
You reap what you sow.
IV A necktie of rope tied as a noose
Is it too loose? Tighten to break the hyoid. A necklace of bruise.
V Yorick’s skull on desk adorned with flowers
You knew him. Well.
VI Santa Muerte, or Our Lady of the Holy Death
Light her candle of black. She protects all tar pit souls.
VII Rocks placed on gravestone
To ensure you won’t be getting out anytime soon. Know your place.
VIII Sugar skulls, marigolds, altars for the Day of the Dead
Dried yellow petals dust the bread.
IX Clocks, watches, an hourglass, the passage of time
Tiny grains of sand. Little tombstone rocks ticking the hours of life away.
X A reaper on your shoulder
An evil dashboard saint whispers in your ear, “I am coming. I am coming.”
In the beginning the holes bore witness.
Eyes within the reading of palms,
blind to eventual inhumation.
In the end the holes dripped black.
Poison pools of it vibrate along with the dirge,
seepage collected in a silver chalice
by a bloodghost in a palladium surplice.
He brandished his smoldering blow-torch,
the same one I used to push him away.
Returned to dust,
my ossuary placed at the base of Golgotha.
With taciturn suffering in his ashen heart,
his dulcimer played an elegy of regret for me.
Strumming a larynx with no strings,
rushing fast on broken wings.
The dead sing of melancholia, decrepitude,