Player Piano

Patty Nash

you “wished you were dead” now look
            here we are: your last meal
            a Chocolate McFlurry & i helped you eat it
we both knew i’d never eat a McFlurry

if it killed me, but duly i ate it & duly it killed me, albeit
            weeks later to witness the last supermarket gift
            certificate you’d bestowed upon me finally voided 
& thus scissored before me

in curt & unthingable shards truly painful
            by a pimply & curious if-
            well-meaning checker at the checkout
line at the HyVee 33 minutes’ brisk walk

from my house, whereto i routinely lug & this time also
            lugged several white-red plastic bags brittle, fraught, brimmed & grinning
            with brassicas, liver, alliums, sardines, chard,
and so on, there’s nothing 

like what you know lugged all the way home & promptly abandoned
            upon the more-urgent floor: collapse of bag upon boards
            made good lord what a gruesome
living-and-not-living noise: styrofoam undertaken

with oil, discharged green soaked dead
            against plastic, meat bloodied drooling & splat spilling
            over, & fluids, & milks, & tissues, & solids: thus emitted the clamor
of my stuff against stuff, hallowed aloud

& resounding alongside the room: what a ruinous mess, though weirdly enough
            was i ever glad
            in my disgust to hear that horror
-struck noise, that spectacle / sound

reminder somehow a survival
            of you: this audible proof
            of your last felt kindness, albeit confused
among others