The Last To-Do List

Have some care for those who will not be going with you
Change the beneficiary of the modest retirement account
From your former spouse
To your widowed mother
Or perhaps let well enough alone
But leave a word or two, certainly, so that they will understand
Or can pretend to understand

Take the packet of sticky notes from the desk drawer
The little one, for signaling favorite passages
In the yellowing pages
Of books on greying shelves
And mark with the names of those who loved you
The temporal drags in which they may recall
The ripple of your voice

The unpublished manuscript
The African mask, bartered in Mombasa
For the price of three t-shirts
The statue of the Thai palace guard
Who never raised his sword
The necklace you bought in the Haight, with the little dark skull
To remind you to kill your ego

Give your brother the secret passwords
You have kept to yourself for so long
Look over the files on the computer
Keep the photographs
The poetry
The birthday emails
Consider expunging the journals
Or at least the parts that might hurt
Or make you look crazy
Or stupid
Or sad

Try to think of some way to explain to your children
Why
Why
Why
Then give up and hope the best for them as you always have

Review the shopping list
Bath salts
Grand Mayan in the clay bottle
Temazepam
Razor with the keenest edge
So precise it is almost invisible
So that, if you had stayed,
At the next cocktail party
You too could have said
It was the best that money could buy.

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