I Ask That I Do Not Die

—but if I do
I want an open coffin
I am an American poet and therefore open
for business
Owls peck the windows of the 21st century
as if looking for
the board members
of Exxon Mobil
who who who who who
Listen
my beloved nothings
your seriousness
will kill you!
But before you die
my doctors
have prescribed happiness
God is a warm brick
or a claw
or the silence that survives
empires
An old woman
in the rain with a pot of mushroom soup
is one of God’s
disguises. Her dog
lifts its leg
                  another one of God’s shenanigans
and pushes its nose
into morning’s ribcage
I point my hand
                  God this and God that and
when God has nothing
I still have my hairy hand for a pillow
Put me in an open box
so when God reaches inside my holes
I can still see
how a taxi makes a city more a city
                  slippers on my feet, and only half
covered by a sheet,
in a yellow taxi
so as not to seem laid out in state
but in transit