Michael Magee

Unfortunate how little we can respond
to our own funerals without
ultra-authoritative preconceived will, or
a polished and pushy lawyer
                                              our desires
endlessly into the future.
What cemetery would simply, kindly,
and without a fight
                                    carve, he was
one bad-ass motherfucker
, or, he never
much liked foot-fungus
, or, of his
                                                        many friends
the one he loved best was Grumpy,
the neo-socialist aardvark
, on your tombstone
just because it was the last funny thing
you asked them to do? No,
                                              for years
                                              you'd be hung
in court - figuratively,
in the sense that the carving would not take place
for many years; and literally, in the sense
that your carcass would dangle
                                                        above a judge
and twelve jurors in Hackensack, NJ,
endlessly stinking up the place until, out of desperation,
they'd move
                              to a new courthouse in Bayonne,
                                              leaving you lonely:
A janitor coming in once a week to sweep
around you, cheerfully speculating
                                                        that you'd
                                                        have company
as soon as they turned this dump
into a super-mall, this room into
                                                        The Gap. None
                                                        of this, incidentally,
would get onto your tombstone
either because - didn't we tell you? - sometime
early in your swinging & spinning courthouse tenure,
                                              your parents, some local
                                              church benefactors,
                                              and select members
of the town council, lowered
an empty mahogany box into a hole and marked it
with a stone which read, He was a kind man. His neighbors
found him quiet and inoffensive

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