by Tom C. Hunley
When I die, Lord, I want to come back
as a cloud an airplane passes through
just before the crash,
lit up by blazing sunset
and just freed of a heavy, cleansing rain—
a cloud gifted with speech
enough to say Change your course, pilot.
I want to change, cloudlike,
into the sort of person who finds a wallet
and an abandoned infant and knows which to keep,
which to return, and does it. Sometimes I lose myself
in a crowd. Sometimes I find myself
in a cloud. Sometimes I want to die, Lord,
from embarrassment. An expression
like I’m falling apart and I love you to pieces,
but if I do fall apart, Lord, I do
want you to love me to pieces.
It is written in a Dean Young poem,
The mind is a tiny island you’ve washed upon.
Is that true, Lord? About me, not you, I mean.
Dean Young the poet, not Dean Young the creator
of the comic strip, Blondie, I mean.
Allen Ginsberg wrote, I’m sick of my own mind.
Give me just a little piece of yours, Lord.
I’m going to give you a piece of my mind
is an expression, but I mean it literally.
I feel like a sandwich is an expression
meaning I crave bread and cheese
with ham/lettuce/mustard if you please,
but sometimes I do feel like Dagwood has
his eyes then his hands then his drooling mouth on me
and I feel like I know how Blondie must feel.
This makes me realize I don’t want to die.
I’ve wandered forty years through the desert
of my mind, Lord. I want you to fill my mouth
with water and prayer and maybe a jagged little song.