Lisa Marie Zaran


When I die I want to come back
as a duck because ducks can fly
faster than cheetahs can run,

my teacher said.

Okay son, I nod and let you believe.

I let you believe in the flight of your heart.

After my father died,
I had his body cremated.
All that remained was a package
of sand (not dust) the size of a child's shoe box.

I paid cash for him
and buried him in
the back of a coat closet.

All my friends at school have grandpa's
that can talk,
my son moans, closing the door.

And when you die, he tells a neighbor, full
of childhood wisdom. You turn into a box!

Oh God. Come, let me hold you
while I still can. While your heart
still sits in a cage. Already you've
spent some time with flight and
your youth has gotten stained.


The 2River View, 4.3 (Spring 2000)