Sunday, December 8, 2013

Caskets to Sleep In, at Dreams & Nightmare #96 (September 2013)

Caskets to Sleep In

The day we stopped dying
the world fell into frenzy
parties frothing with beer, music and naked bodies,
nations singing new anthems from now on we live forever.
We discovered eternity in dozens of ways
soldiers getting shot in Iran then standing up like nothing happened
the pope slipping and breaking his neck then standing up like nothing happened
farm chickens being beheaded, then standing up like nothing happened…
I don’t know if it was enough to kill me, but I ate some botulinum-ridden lasagna
and recovered from vomiting like nothing happened.

Hundreds of years of beer and merriment in,
we built Stephen Hawking a new body, but by then
the frenzy was the only thing dying
you-never-gonna-die jokes made tempers snap
because the Millennium dawned and it dawned on us
that, like the permethrin-resistant lice plaguing our days,
every single one of us was here to stay.

We sent out search parties to find Death,
deployed submarines in caves and trenches
and, as a last resort, gave tracker dogs dry corpses to sniff.
Finding nothing but ourselves, we resorted to suicide attempts
but ended up with spilled guts, burnt bodies
and blown up heads—all too easy to grow back with stem cells.
Rumor has it, someone jumped into a volcano
his body cremated yet his brainwaves could still be read.

These days we can’t die, we can at least pretend
and maybe in the process, extort death from Death
with the newest trend, caskets to sleep in
where we endure airlessness and ennui
to create mental movies of Closure, The End, La Fin.
Lie down, hide inside, stay dead as long as you can.
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