Last Mattress

This $1,600 slice of foam,
if it stays firm, will be the last mattress
I’ll ever buy. It’s comfortable enough
for years of sleeps, for the long, thwarted hours
of scribbling sentences, or to step from
into the surrey with the fringe on top.
Given the choice between flat-lining here,
and 1,000,000 other possibilities
for the time when my pronouns and now end—
I’d pick my bed, and passing on with good dreams.

One jot, on this little blue and green globe
where life evolved, and consciousness, and hope.

Copyright © 2022 by Marilyn Nelson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 8, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.