For a school assignment, I crafted a poem emulating James Tate’s style. Tate is one of my favorite poets, and if interested, I highly recommend his collections Return to the City of White Donkeys and Dome of the Hidden Pavilion.
I watched myself die today, and I thought it would be more
shocking, unnerving, something, but it was surprisingly
dull like a bland desert. I bit into a cake of dirt like any other day
another mundane moment, unextraordinary, except that I died. I’m dead
and nothing has changed aside from my patterns
of breathing and circulation. I can’t feel
the air transferring through my lungs or
the pumping of my blood, but then again
I never really could. Unless I paid particular attention to myself,
but that was a strain I rarely strived for outside of
peril and fear. “Weren’t you afraid?” the dead man
next to me said. His name was Kurt. I considered,
shook my head, “Not really,” I said, and then added, “Well, maybe a little.”
For how can you not feel a little afraid at your own death?
You come face-to-face with chaotic unknowing, where faith
is said to help you move through the motion, but
what do they know? “What’s your stop?” Kurt said.
For a dead man he was quite spry. “They told me twelve,”
I said, and Kurt grinned. “That’s a good one,” he said.
“Oh? How can you tell?” I said. “I can’t,” he said.
I didn’t talk to Kurt again.