I never expected to live long enough
to learn the answer to life, the universe
I always believed microorganisms
would be feasting on my organs,
their steel wool teeth scraping
the bits of meat off my bones,
or a box of my ashes sitting on someone’s shelf,
next to a fading picture behind a framed window,
or ash flecks of me floating on the river’s skin
until the ocean waves’ lullaby
tucks me in the sandbar bed.
I always thought I’d be stretching from a branch,
eyes bulging, tongue sticking from my lips,
as the manila rope digs its way into my throat,
trapping stagnant air into my struggling lungs.
or carving farewell lines down my wrist,
painting the bathtub walls with my illness.
But I am a depression warrior,
digging trenches in the swamp,
with a short handled shovel,
combatting the perpetual stagnation,
the jungle bog suckling my marrow,
with words shot from the muzzle
of a brass knuckled tongue.