Many thanks to you friend Cicero,
though we’ve never met off the page
where you solace fears of the far shore
and the date my death barge is fated
to score the graveled bank where I’ll disembark
like a traveller come home.
In this white cubicle walls shout warnings with posters
and the sphygmomanometer dangles like a squid
you once admired on a Sicilian ship.
Such misguided engines of immortality
you could only envision at your most fevered,
to delay the death scene beyond its arc
and bore the audience to an untimely end.
Let’s not prolong the voyage across that small sea
or linger in the terminal neither here nor there.
When I’m cast ashore to lie hissing on the hot
bank of Hades let me recall brevity is the soul,
so it’s best to leave them wanting more,
and call departure arrival
and the scorching wind applause.