Concerning My Death

by C. B. Auder

to know the exact date
of my death so I could take
full advantage of my final
precious and rational months
in existence. And also to burn
everything incriminating.

But mine would be a far better world
if I didn't know the exact date
because I would waste
every last week moping
like a stupid kid
who's just been told he can't
have any more ice cream
because of the stomach cancer.

Believe you me, it's not the death
that would kill me; it's the dread.

Plus which, I wouldn't
even get to the evidence-burning
until the very last day.

Then I'd be a lurching schmuck
around the house--wheezing
like a bus being
driven by an elderly driver--
clutching my bruised and withered
flesh in fifty shades of
agony, half out of my mind
on illegal narcotics,
sweating like a herd of yaks--
and then I'd STILL have to flail
through the garage to gather
matches and lighter fluid
and three decades of three-ring journals
and old micro-cassettes that don't play
and boxed reams of terrible poetry
and stacks of failed novel drafts
and experimental new hybrid prose forms
(by this point, I would have invented these)--
and by the time I finally expired
of the expected medical cause(s),
the entire house would
have exploded into flames.

I just know
myself too well.

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