Ash Wednesday: A poem

Photo by Adrien Olichon on Unsplash

God knows I don’t need to be reminded I’m nothing,
but it is nice to know
someone once promised—
at the beginning of recorded time—
we would all be dust again some day.

I’ve never wanted to die, but
there is something comforting
about all this talk of our capacity to pass away and disintegrate,
sink back into the universal fabrics blanketing us with grace,
where, I’m assuming, we will all just sort of fall asleep
until someone decides it’s time
to wake us up again.

I wish the person imposing upon me
the mark of eternal fate,
I wish they would write in parentheses
just above the cross
looking askance
on my forehead,
“Don’t worry. Everything’s worked itself out already.”

You may pray for me now
and at the hour of my death,
but I already know bones
can live. So, save your breath.

If you live,
then you live.
If you die,
then you’re dead.
So, whether you die or whether you live,
remember: God still gave you this breath.