You die, and being dead
are better. From night buses
you watch with dry always-open eyes
people pretend to be alive.
You become a great listener. Girls –
the ones you always really wanted to attract,
clever ones – now they tell you everything
and marvel at your listening.
The business is so much more efficient
without you: the young fella
takes a chance on a new line
and customers are wooed by his earnestness:
he reminds them how you were.
Your kids play with you for hours,
its all they want: you near them,
not walking off. They won’t stop
boasting to friends how you are
some sort of comatose superman, or sleepy astronaut.
You’ll never get back with their mother,
but it is calm now.
Before long, being dead is in.
Others are slumped up against you.
They say nothing. You say less.
You have never felt so loved by so many friends.