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A Letter to the Person Who Will Go through My Pockets When I’m Dead

by Jerem Pickett


Dear Posthumous Pocket Investigator:

Please forgive me for dying
this way—I can only guess
how it happened. Perhaps, as my
Buick settled near the eight-foot line,
pool bottom, I sat there wishing
I had worn my other brown tie;
or maybe, as I stood choking
on a Golden Delicious, I felt
the ephemeral sensation of gazing
in a darkened theatre; or, as I
slipped off an edge at Zion's,
I confused dirt and air and wondered
if I were really falling.

I have always regretted
not being able to predict things:
when a traffic signal will change,
what the weather will do,
that a person will stop hoping
or staring a certain way and leave
only a semitoothed comb, a few
navy blue pantsuits,
300-and-some-odd cotton swabs
in your closet.

No loose ends here—
my sewage is paid, photo album
up to date; and if you take care
of my pet octopus (he's probably
at home, wanting to be fed), I won't
prod you in Mass,
misplace your TV Guide,
or disappear down side-streets
just after the bars close.