You bury me in concrete. Bury me
in lead. Rather I was buried
with a bullet in the head.
You seal me in powder. Cut the hair
last. Then take the trimmings
and seal them in glass.
You wrap me in plastic. Wash me
in foam. Weld the box airless
and ram the box home.
For each tomb that’s hidden a green
soldier turns. None decomposes.
Nothing for worms.
A buckle. A pencil. Break one thing
I left. Give some small part of me
Easy for me, your son,
youthful lungs trawling in one sweep –
cigar smoke, omelette,
the girl next door.
One day I told you
how in physics we’d calculated a cough holds
billions of atoms Galileo
inhaled. It took a full
week for your retort –
as always, off the nail. Must be I’ve used it
all then. From Siberia
to Antarctica – from slack-
pit to spire. That’s
why each draw’s so, so bloody hard.
Your drenched face was me,
silenced. Had to catch you
last thing, at the foot
of your Jacob’s Ladder, ascending to the one
bulb of the landing
toilet, to tell you
I’d checked with sir.
You can’t use it all, I piped, not in a hundred
million years. You’ll get
better. Just wait and see.
Mouth bluish, a slur
suspended over your chest. Fist white
on the rail. You said
Don’t hold your breath.
Mario Petrucci (Londen, 29 november 1958)