At the end of life
your bits don’t die simultaneously.
They drop out of the race one by one
without even a backward glance.
A brain cell here, now a few in the femoral artery—
the liver, the kidney, the left great toe.
You scan your approaching horizon
for any whole thing to hold onto.
Each piece of you slips away
like the California coastline.
What will be left?
Your remaining inventory—
(gleaming granite countertops, burgeoning bookshelves,
the fridge and the car and the book full of dreams)
all wave goodbye from an outgoing train carrying
your medulla oblongata, the regulation of the heart—
Quickly now, what’s left?
What’s to show from this life you so lately lived?
What can be salvaged from the ragged breath