J. D. Smith, Fifteen Death Poems (poem)

      Let's see if the burning outlasts the candle. * By an invisible rope I am hanged from the clouds. * Egg, tadpole, frog— then what the frog becomes. * A melon left on the vine until the frost outgrows its skin. * A robe laid out at my birth now fits. * To be released from four seasons, or bound to a fifth. * A petal falls on breaking ice and floats downstream. * This reflection will weigh down no more puddles. * Moss that grew ten thousand years would not offer shade, or bear a plum. * One last oar-stroke between a shore I've forgotten and one I've never seen. * In bottomless water a salmon's leap begins and ends. * Ice water cools the cup, then the encircling hand. * Noon sun, full moon— two more coins that buy me nothing now. * There is air, there is water, and no bubble. * Time to pay for the bowl that has kept the rice from spilling, losing flavor.

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