by Corey Mesler
“Oh, return to zero, the master said.
Use what’s lying around the house.
Make it simple and sad.”
Write my obituary with invisible
ink. Do not palter. Don’t say
I faced my final illness with courage.
I’ve been sick a long time
and some days I felt all I wanted
was another world. Say
that I loved my family with a ripe
fervor. Say that I did my best
when I wrote. Some people, not
many, read me, and that is enough.
My books will dwindle like spindrift.
They will exist as mementos on the
shelves of my children and grandchildren.
Unread even there. Say that I tried.
Say that I loved and was amusing.
And, in the end, say only that I wanted
what any dreamer wants: a calm parting,
a tranquil sea on the way to the next bardo.
Corey Mesler has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Gargoyle, Five Points, Good Poems American Places, and New Stories from the South. He has published over 20 books of fiction and poetry. He also wrote the screenplay for “We Go On”, which won The Memphis Film Prize in 2017. With his wife he runs Burke’s Book Store (est. 1875) in Memphis.