A Buddhist monk once said
that life is like stepping
into a boat
that is already sinking.
Death: it’s the apples rotting in the yard.
My mother says she is not afraid of death, but of dying.
Not me. I am terrified of death,
Or else, eternity.
But first, the dusty volume propped open on the welcome desk,
thick as a phonebook
The careful catalogue of my choices
to be considered:
The lies I told without blinking
All the homeless I have walked past
The mornings I left without saying I love you.
Humble, courageous, and kind:
my mother will go to heaven.
Her heart is just enormous,
like Audrey Tautou in Amélie,
dipping her hands into sacks of grain
at the market.
I might go to hell:
I don't save birthday cards
or love letters.
I hoard unread novels
and believe I am what I wear.
I am bad
even as the Buddhist Zen says gently
until death there is nothing