Every time I suffer a bout of pneumonia,
I begin to count my last breaths.
In the army I cooled my feverish head
on the cold iron bar of the infirmary bed.
Since most of my friends
are dying, dead or demented,
I figure it will soon be time
for me to be getting cemented.
My family nags me to consult doctors,
but I’m a follower of Voltaire,
who proclaimed: The art of medicine
is to amuse the patient while nature
cures the disease and the Doctor collects the fee.
I knock on the door of Mother Nature’s home.
A neatly-dressed guard from the penguin corp
informs me Mother Nature is tired and worried.
She wears a secondhand housedress
revealing till warm moons of breasts.
She warns me:
Swarming stars have been squawking all night:
If she’s anything like my mother,
I can charm her with a pair of chocolate eclairs
and a montage of all whoever loved me.
I rhapsodize her with my best poems.
Since there’s no way to get out of here alive,
I carry a lifetime supply of plasma for my soul.
My plan is to never be fully dead afterI die.
As Father wrestled with a lymphoma-ravaged body,
I remember how cold his hands became
as soon as he breathed his final breath.
I monitor the declining temperature of my hands.