Semi-Precious

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December 15, 2012 by The Citron Review

by Tim Kahl
 

My wife and I book separate flights.
She says, coming back, you better not
die in a crash with the kids.
I urge her to do the same
because I wouldn’t know what to do
without her. However, she has plans.
She would start selling off my books,
my soccer shirts, my baseball caps,
my collection of teas from around the world,
my hand tools, all of my accomplished
messes, the sum total of all
my cherished clutter. But I will have
the last laugh (as the dead always do).
None of these things is worth much.
In fact, together they will signal
I have led the perfect life,
perfectly balanced
from beginning to end.
All that I have struggled to collect
will be authenticated as nearly worthless,
the counter of my assets reset
and hovering near zero.
I will have earned my place on
a bubble gum card with the Buddha,
who never experienced the joy
of commercial flight, the sound of
the landing gear dropping down,
the delivery onto the ground back
into a state of semi-preciousness.

Tim Kahl is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW books, 2009) and The Century of Travel (CW Books, 2012). His work has been published in many journals in the U.S. He appears as Victor Schnickelfritz at the poetry and poetics blog The Great American Pinup and the poetry video blog Linebreak Studios. He is also editor of Bald Trickster Press and Clade Song. He is the vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center. He currently houses his father’s literary estate—one volume: Robert Gerstmann’s book of photos of Chile, 1932.

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