Elisabeth C. Swim

Death Plan 

So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.

– R.B. Gittelsohn 

Red lines divide plots 

where dead are buried, living 

descendents segregate 

memorial visits to cemetaries 

‘cowboy cemetary’ euphamizes 

unmarked graves for servitude. 

The Jewish branch of Dignity® profits off perceptions 

that cremation isn’t Kosher: my ancestors — Jewish, too 

— have had their ashes scattered everywhere and nowhere. 

She adored Paris, Carmel. He was once happy 

by the Golden Gate. Don’t let my ashes be the rice you toss 

at my dead wedding to a monument of any empire. 

I want to ash into soil under 

a garden that feeds you who remember me. 

Grow it a permaculture jumble – no labels. Mix 

sunflowers, squash, blackberries, sages, 

cucumber, tomato, amaranth greens. Remember 

how much I like rain on arid mountain air. That 

new dirt will take at least a year to push up green. 

Tuck me under cow shit and coffee grounds. 

Notice growth more slow than you could see. 

I live craving that kind of tempo. When I slow 

down past a viable pace, let me seep 

into memory to water your earth.

Read more about the writer by visiting https://swanwrites.replynow.ontraport.net

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