Summer 2009 - THE POTOMAC

The Book of What Comes Next
   Sam Schmidt

When Death comes, Mr. Posthumous,
like out of an old engraving,
Iíll be ready.

Itís not that here
has been so bad. You all
have been most kind.

Itís just that my important projects will seem
like sandcastles Iíve been building,.
nothing more than that

when Death enters my house,
trailing his robe of stars. He will sit
beside me in a chair;

blue-eyed and kindly, he will read to me
from The Book of What Comes Next.
He knows about transformations,

causes the chrysalis to burst,
the snake to shed its skin.
And words that once seemed small,

will become, each one, a mountain.
My mind will open wide, all the sand
pouring through it, and stop

in its understanding, My mind will stop.
I will say, Oh, like Iíve cut my finger
or am tasting oysters for the first time,

tangy, and fleshy, and of the sea.
The taste will fill me, and fill me,
and become the world.

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