The Last Will and Testament / Erin Kelley

When I die he said I want to be burned to ashes

and parceled out into seventeen velvet bags.

I want them to be given to seventeen young woman

who paint their nails purple for an entire year.

There will be a note with instruction on each bag

for each young woman, to throw the ashes of me

into the face of a young man who reminds me of myself.

One handful for the man who declines a martini

orders a tumbler full of cheap blended scotch instead

(why did I ever drink less than top shelf?)

and one for the man too embarrassed to carry

a fistful of daises to the door for a first date.

One right in the dark eyes he said, his voice warm

with avuncular affection for the youthful mistakes

he was correcting of that man there, thin and stupid

no interest in exercising anything god gave him. God

youth really is wasted on them, isn’t it.

Dump me over the head of a man who stands too long

in front of a full-length mirror, let me grey his hair

and eyebrows, let his mouth round out in surprise,

let him taste the gritty taste of age and death and beyond.

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