Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Living Will

Living Will

To a lifetime of self-loathing , I leave this
god-hunger. To the girl I held in my arms
in the middle of winter, her boozy breath
warm against my neck, her form skipping
home through the falling snow, I leave
this scarf of regrets. To my brother who
shares my disease, a tumbler of ice and
promises. To my friends, a collection of
books and the dust of my envy. To my
father who picked me up from a police
station when I was eighteen, my face soft
with bruises, as I screamed at the room
of assembled officers, Why don’t you hit
me some more?, I leave this pail of guilt.
To summers at overnight camp, I leave
vespers of friendship. To the bully who
wiped his nose on my shirt, I leave a hive
of bees. To loneliness, a drought of days.
To sex, peeling away each desire, I leave
our separateness. The hard candy center 
that cannot be licked away. To television
news, I leave this picture of a serial killer.
To the forgotten celebrity, disappearing
marques. To decades of work, an elegy
of no consequence. To my ego, this one
Wallace Stevens poem. To my children,
I leave my crown and a survival manual.
To anger, I leave this hair-pin storm. To
perspective, these contact lenses. To my
many students, I leave this mid-term test.
To my teachers, a shrapnel of right words.
To my critics, the movement of beads
back and forth on the abacus of taste. To
the river, I leave a tackle of lost lures and
weeds full of fish. To emperors, nothing.
To the field brightening with yellow flowers,
I leave a little red fox in possession of you.

By Chris Banks

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