BEGINNING AT THE END
unearths your casket,
opens the creaky lid,
and welcomes you to the world
of the living, to the smiling nurse
you to a convalescent home.
With swollen-knuckled fingers
you sift through the red puzzle pieces
of a farmhouse. Years go by
you are able to remember
the names of all your children,
until the needles of arthritis
are plucked from your joints.
from your wheelchair,
hobble out the sliding glass doors
and greet your son by his name.
He takes you to your home
a grandfather clock has its back
against the wall. You meet your spouse
and the two of you witness how time
erodes forgiveness, how the bandage
to reveal the sore of an affair.
For the next forty years you work,
hand over your diploma like a baton,
then attend college. In high school
your virginity, stop drinking,
become a kid. You forget
how to ride a bicycle. You forget
the simple mechanics of placing
in front of the other
and begin to crawl. For nine months
you float inside your mother's womb
and shrink to the size of a comma.
is how it all ends:
your life fades away into the shiver
of an orgasm, your parents kiss,
then pull away from each other.