Sondra, you don’t know it
but you’re now officially dead.
You could have avoided it, but now
it’s too late. You just ate the egg
containing the specific cholesterol
that will break free from an artery,
block your heart and kill you
a couple of years from now.
None of us avoids the end, and none of us
really knows which of our many decisions
get us there long before the moment itself.
Even the gun toters, the leapers, the razor children
get there long before they choose their weapons
for the duel they are going to lose. It’s the way
of things: every choice a final choice, no matter
what we actually choose.
Whether your Eventual Stairway
leads up or down,
you’re on the approach now, Sondra,
walking briskly toward a handrail not yet in sight.
Don’t strain yourself, not that it matters really,
certain consequences are certain now
and while you don’t know exactly
when they’ll be felt, they will be, and it won’t be good,
Sondra, it won’t be good…but lucky for you,
you don’t have a clue. You can’t hear me.
I can only watch tenderly and never let on. If you knew,
you would call it cruel. Imagine how I feel before you judge…
but that’s unimportant. Anyway, I will one day let you know
that it wasn’t all for naught…see,
when you sang “Hotel California”
in the shower for the third-to-the-last time?
Next time, I promise you’ll be in tune. And the time after that,
you’ll be even better. And when you sing it
for the last time I will make you feel better
than you ever have felt. You’ll step out wet
and reach for the towel.
You’ll dry yourself off
and turn toward the sun-filled window.
What happens after that, I cannot say.