Imagining Rex’s Ashes on a Shelf in the Mausoleum

Inside this handsome jar I lie

(Mere ashes of my former lives),

But sans the hand and sans the eye

And flanked on either side by wives.

It’s actually quite dry in here

(The lid is tighter than you’d think),

At five o’clock I crave a beer,

I’d write a sonnet for a drink.

It’s irritating being dead

(I really don’t intend to bitch),

But dust is dust and can’t be fed,

And dust has itches can’t be itched.

I’d like to give my wives a pat

(They were in life exceeding kind),

But ghostly fingers fail at that

And dusty busts are all I’d find.

Life is short and art is long

(The bard’s lament down through the years),

I’d say that death is far too strong—

I’m singing still, but no one hears.

May 13, 1994

Written on the morning of Rex Wier’s death