A Conversation With Siri About Death

by Karla Cordero

i watch slasher movies but hate the sight of real blood leave the body

i panic on planes & think of ways the machine or sky

will betray me i read books in fear to evaporate

out of this world without seeing its soft hands

i ask siri how long a human can live without food she says: 20 days

i’m 32 & i feed the backyard lizard houseflies

cuz i know what it means to be a small thing empty with hunger

simmering in the boil of june in my car i keep matches & water

for the apocalypse i ask siri if death hurts

she says: depends today i remind my fragile father to walk careful

& he slams his foot on a corner wall his toe nail bent back like a door hinge

an entrance open for no one to nowhere i ask siri how long a daughter can live

without her father she says: there’s a crisis in america

my father’s broken brown flesh waves like a stiff flag & i think about skin

& another unjust dying & perhaps heaven needs all the help it can get

to send a winged-saint to convince: the hand the gun the trigger

to write a different story i don’t know where i’ll be buried

below the earth where i was raised or below the earth that questions my right

to own a bit of freedom i guess i’m writing this poem

to understand where our bones sink to after the last spill of breath

perhaps like this poem born when the first line crawls across the page

then a small funeral when the last word sits like a headstone

i promise you turn the page

& witness a resurrection

Last updated March 22, 2023