I Don’t Wish to Be a Vampire

by Elaine Equi

With centuries of memory
stored in a youthful body.

It is – or could be – such a pleasure
if we didn’t fear it so much,

to get old and indulge in
subversive acts of dawdling,

withering, forgetting with impunity,
letting go of ambition served too long,

its bitter sweet ligatures finally breaking
down and dissolving.

While others feverishly train
body and brain in gyms,

let me cultivate the corpse flower,
listen to it like a radio in a small room

quietly playing its hypnotic
melodic overture of decomposition.

Last updated February 23, 2023