Poem

I am lying this morning
supine on your kitchen table,
pennies warming against the lids
of my eyes, because St. Paul says
we die every moment, so we can
disarm death by rehearsing it.

I am trying to act out my end,
a perfect tragedy, exhausting
the passions of terror and pity,
because events which themselves
we view with pain, we delight to contemplate
when reproduced with minute fidelity.

I am hoping you’ll say something
about how you’ll miss me. Eternally.
Instead, you sit down with a bowl of Cheerios
and tell me tragedy confines itself
to a single revolution of the sun. Then I’m back
to where I started from: adlibbing. Afraid.

Kathy Rooney

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