‘On Behalf of the Committee’

Dead light bulb.jpg

Let us begin by briefly drawing
attention to your inevitable death.

We’re sorry if we’ve startled you by writing
so directly, but we worried you

might not otherwise notice, since
you’ve ignored several clear signs

of your demise: the steady rupture
of filaments in old light bulbs,

your car’s plaintive whine, and the pastel
colony multiplying across the Life

brand loaf in your breadbox.
We admit, some of the attempts

to remind you of your limited tenure
among the living were rather obscure.

The squall of the child next door
was, at times, barely audible,

and the ants would only on occasion
march at a pace that allowed

you to observe them carrying off
the parted corpse of some fellow

creeping thing. We remain hopeful
that your mother’s occasional calls

will one day trick you out of your complacency.
However, if you cannot learn how even

the perfect flourishing of a bird in flight
performs the poem of your death, this

body will remain to show you how again.

– Joshua Jones, ‘On Behalf of the Committee’, in Letters Journal.

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