Monday, January 31, 2022

Every Year

Every year I blow through the calendar date
on which my lungs will cease whispering
and my neurotransmitters will stop sending
the codes that fire imagination into reality

and keep my armature of bones from crumbling into chalk.
Amen and amen. Such blindness is a blessing.
I wish to put on a three-piece suit and dine out
without being chauffeured by a shadow.

In fact, I will kiss a beautiful woman in a crowd
even though her husband,
the size of a side of beef,
knocks the fillings from my molars

with a haymaker that leaves me
just this side of the grave, but smiling.
I will do this and more in blissful ignorance,
like writing notes to myself,

secured to the fridge by a GREATEST DAD magnet,
about what I should remember to do
in 2048, the Year of Our Lord.
I will finish reading The Canterbury Tales

while hiking three miles of the Appalachian Trail,
In the spirit of a true pilgrimage,
I will challenging fellow hikers to a contest
to see who can tell the most outlandish story.

Mine will be about kissing a stranger in a crowd
before needing considerable dental work.
And I will attend Keith Richards’ party
when he reaches a weathered one hundred and two

and consider hanging an IV drip of Jack Daniels.
In the distance is a mountain ten miles high,
its top a piece of granite jutting above the rim
of the forever-reeling earth, the father of tribes

and the bringer of mojo to the young at heart.
That’s my headstone, but it will take me years
to lay my body at its base and say, “Good night.”
I am a modern-day Ulysses, home from the war

but hungry for continued mischief and a BLT.
What would be the point of knowing
that an out-of-control Ferris wheel
might hurl my body into the stratosphere

on some Tuesday afternoon, May twelfth, at 6 p.m.?
I have written my epitaph. It says,
“Death took more than a few jabs at me,
but I was a moving target.”

~William Hammett

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