was a cowboy. My father was a sugar man. My father was a teamster. My father was a Siberian tiger; a corsair; a lamb, a yellow dog, a horse's ass. My father had a triple bi-pass. My father was a rat but he bought me my first hat. My father believed in decency and fair play. My father drove the getaway. My father was a blue jay. My father drove the boys away. My father drove a Thunderbird, a Skylark, a Firebird, an old pickup truck with a rusty tool box, a Skybird, a Sunray. My father drove hard bargains ever day; he was a force. My father was mercurial. He was passive, a little moody: rock... paper... scissors. He loved me. He loved me not. He stomps and hurls lightning bolts. Has slipped away. Passed away. My father was passé. My father was a Texas Ranger. Taught me to pray. Because of him, I hoard things in an old shoe box. Because of him, I use botox. Because of him, I look to clocks. Because of my father, I know how to oil the gate; don’t own a map. Because of my father, I have no use for similes. Because of my father, I hunger for my own catalog of metaphors. (for Doris Schnabel)
I hope my death is not stolen from me by a fiery blast of Fahrenheit or Celsius or another calculatable accuracy. I will gladly relinquish all the pleasures of daily bread, the pride and dreams of art—even pulse; but I hope my death will not be taken from me. Actually, it is a modest policy; little there to discuss as to solace or in the way of privacy. A valued moment of self-possession? Might it be something to embrace more than to expulse? I hope my death will not be pried from me. My end is not to be just a cause in a public sea of scientists teaming against a disease, a private point in a welter of piracy. After all, won't it fundamentally and rightly be mine and no one else's? I hope my death is not taken from me; better, it be an appointment kept in a private sea.