Revised. Originally posted 12-19-2016.
I want to stroll right now
through my own stopped life
and look back upon it
as if it were a museum of itself.
All my lost relations and friends are in there
and I want to stop before each
and think about them as they stand
absolutely still but still alive.
Do not think for one second
that I consider myself exempt
from such examination.
I want to stare at me
seated there in my diorama on a couch
or in bed where I can ask every
grand question I can think of without
my squirming away.
I have been living
near death for a long time and
it has never denied me anything,
but living so near has always required
a fast ramble with no time
to look at anything for very long.
The time to shift has come.
What I want is suspended animation,
as it is in movies where time stops,
everyone stops. everything stops,
even me for once, Death hanging over my shoulder
as I examine what I am, how I became
what I am, who was around me for good
and ill, who stayed and who has gone before me
into dust. I want a museum life
though I’m in fact living in a newsreel,
in crisis seeking stasis. I want, I want,
I want a marker stuck in the ground
I can hang onto. A label on a case with me inside
that fixes me in one place forever so I can rest.