Playing at Dead

Playing at Dead

i remember breathing in,
but that’s where it ends and begins:
i have no recollection
of the air, of an exhalation –
not even a particular sensation
of my cells, of regeneration:

Every so often I imagine –
mind you, merely for distraction –
a scene, one I couldn’t possibly forget.
a scene, with my dead body in silhouette:

the weak inflating lungs,
and then how the deflation sung
a wheezing rattled tune
that shattered against my heart
and carved a terrible rune.

the air is clairvoyent in my body,
begging a memory, a story,
spinning a fate of days upon days,
a narrative of nonsense
that I’d prefer to paraphrase.

Every so often I imagine –
and remember this is purely for distraction –
my body so light and buoyant,
a flesh balloon, merely deploying.

I don’t remember when I died,
I don’t remember.
I don’t remember –

and in what measure? what weather?
was it tender? did I feel pleasure?
did I surrender? was I light as a feather?
all those tethered tendrils, did I sever?

I don’t remember,
I don’t remember,
where it ends and begins –
this breathing in!

this breathing, didn’t we always all do it together?
It seems now that I am not so clever –
there’s no heaven to enter.
I will ask until I’ve remembered –
will this dying breath last forever?