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And Now

ISSUE:  Spring 1986

That’s my corpse you’re looking at, laid out as I’ve
instructed, with hands clasped before me as in prayer and
just a bit of color in my cheeks, my lips pressed firmly
together, yet revealing their soft, appealing curve, with
something of a smile there in it, my head raised slightly
upon a pillow somewhat above the level of my chest. All in
all, I’m satisfied, and I hope you too like it, my friends,
who have been so patient and loyal through the years of
my depression, and so you see now that my thoughts
weren’t always on despair but on ways also to please you,
taking me out of myself.

And now let us gather around the body and sing the songs
of my youth that were so precious to me, romantic songs
without a truth in them; songs that took me from my
somber self. Sing but a few and look at each other for the
signs of love or their likeness in each face transported, not
with pity and terror and not with fervent wish to be free of
it all, as I am. Then bury me and let me go my way deep
down into the earth to become one, at last, with the others
before me. Be careful how you place me in the box, to
return me to the earth whole, without blemish, for the
earth was good to me, and I would give myself back in
good condition.


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