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On Dying in Bed
BANG! BANG! Blood all over good clothes,
guts on the floor - a mess!
But a slow death isn't much neater.
Dozens of pillow cases yellowed with drool,
ever fewer and smaller rooms more and more
etched with the smell of old
(our last rooms should be buried with us),
eggy stains on shirts; even, when coughs
go bad, blood spray. Whether fast and violent
or at a snail's pace, death involves innards
that want to get out, become smears, stink.
And we, too, will want to get out, become
something indelible, pervasive, as pungent
as blood, but more difficult to remove