When I die fill
my memory jug with things my mother loved.
Leave out her tears, the shivering in the rain.
That heart on the silver cross,
the scrap she wrote my future name on,
the ink footprints on my
baptismal certificate. But not the bandage
from my first stand and step and fall,
her blowing whispers in my ear to see if I
can hear after the fever,
for those are tears
and this jug has no room for
oceans of such sadnesses
Make room for the things I’ve seen
clearly in the dark:
a frame of Mifune with sword,
E.T. phoning home with a gold
and a happy heart light that beats right here,
Dances With Wolves,
in 60 Seconds,
tickets to hand shadow play and future love.
Line the jug with lead to keep
X-rays revealing true dark. Stash an LSD tattoo
lest I desire a bad trip
far far away from heaven.
Place the draft card
on a broken hearing aid.
Put no cancer recovery card, test strips inside.
I am not just my diseases
and will not cling to their memories.
Be glad I am gone
if that is how you’re bent.
Remove that one small thing you think
replace with a pinch of dirt or ash
from the graves or urns of those I loved dear,
seal for this little jug for you of me
God, Mother, Father for creating me.