After My Body is Dismantled

After my body is dismantled

I will examine with curiosity

The constituent parts. I have handled

My own body, and it is not much to see,

But perhaps it will look different when I'm gone,

Or I will have a different view of bodies.

Will there be something more basic I will own,

Instead of this evolved omnium of oddities?

Knowing that I remain myself

Will be all I am left with:

That will be the blanket as my help

Is only the background cosmic

Radiation. The feel of inky depth

Will swell in my uniqueness into death.

Zackary Sholem Berger is a poet and translator in Baltimore working in and among English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Spanish.

Are all the days fading into night at once?

Is that night the cave we are sunk in?

Count the stars. Is one missing? Has it fled

To bring a message, an old letter in a trunk?

We all remember where we were this morning

But the world has barely budged since.

A compromise: we advance the year count

And pay back the difference with sense.

Stand before the board and write your name.

Write it again, without malice erase it.

Write a new name fitted to the hour.

Will you be entrusted to trace it?

All the Days