Laughing at Death and After

Over dinner with friends, somehow
how we’ll dispose of you after your death
becomes the conversation.

You painted into a wall
or onto individual canvases by all our friends
at a backyard gathering

is most memorable,
and awful. You throw down the gauntlet,
animated, upping the ante

with add-ons that I instantly block
from memory. Yet I get how this pleases you,
laughing at death with good people,

a hedge against times
when things may not be funny.
So I’ll tell you this in the spirit of the evening:

paint party man,
I’ll never leave you, unless
I laugh after death before you do.


#29 of 30 poems in 30 days for National Poetry Writing Month, April 2017

Image by John Livzey