To Whom it May Concern,
I hope this letter finds you alive and well,
because at least that would make one of us.
I’d like to start with a declaration of pity.
Not for myself, of course,
but for you, dear reader, as by virtue of the fact
that this letter has come into
your possession, your life must be rather
Are you a lawyer? God forbid
That some attorney pour over
this impromptu note
for matters of estate.
Or worse, a mortician? A funeral home director?
Though I do suppose that if arrangements are to be made,
someone had better do the arranging.
If you’re one of my loved ones, I’m sorry.
Know that given the choice,
I would have probably lived forever.
To start with, don’t embalm me.
I’ll never be as pretty as I was when I was twenty,
so don’t even try.
If my organs are any good,
give them to someone who needs them.
It’s not like I’m using them.
Put what’s left of me in the earth,
fresh soil for fresh seeds,
and plant a garden around me:
grapevines and roses,
peaches and daffodils,
lillies to flutter in the summer breeze.
And, right on top of me,
plant some tall and ancient fig,
something that’ll bear fruit and live forever.
Let children play in the garden;
Let families, lovers, friends,
And, at the entrance,
a sign in common brass:
“Let none leave hungry,
for here shall be plenty of fruit.
Let none leave wearied,
for here shall be plenty of shade.
Let none leave hopeless,
for here shall be plenty of love.”
I fear the darkness,
the emptiness, the nothingness,
the state of nonexistence,
of having never existed.
So let there be light:
Let matter be recycled,
let energy be released.
Let me melt into nature, into the universe,
And let the people talk under the fig tree,
to learn and to laugh,
to remember me in happiness
and be happy themselves,
Let the light pour
from one new person to another,
down generations, millennia,
ever onward, ever circling,
that we might live forever.
With hope and some trepidation,
An Unready Soul