A Posthumous Letter
By: Steven Bruce

4th July 2022

Dear fair-weather friends and relatives
whose correspondence I have not returned,

by the time you read this, I will be dead
to you.

Picture me now as an apparition
invisible within your world,

the way I appeared to you yesteryear
when I owned nothing you desired.

If it helps to know,
my cause of death was multiple-choice.

I died,
attempting to prove my immortality
by leaping into the churning lava
of Mount Etna.

I died,
drowning in a barrel of blackberry wine.

I died,
running through the streets of Pamplona,
my hot guts ripped out by the horn
of a frantic bull.

I died,
seppuku style.

I died,
blasted in the eye
with a flintlock pistol while hunting
down Blackbeard's treasure.

I died,
from an overdose of carrot juice.

I died,
tossed into a snake pit
swarmed with saw-scaled vipers.

I died,
in the library,
stabbed in the neck with a dagger
after an argument with Professor Plum.

I died,
exhausted from an exorcism gone wrong.

I died,
reaching for the collected works
of Shakespeare. It tumbled from the top shelf
and fractured my skull.

I died,
struck in the heart by a bolt of blue lightning.

I died,
hit by a rally car,
my body smooshed over the stands
like an overripe watermelon.

I died,
rolled in a tacky rug and trampled flat by horses.

I died,
swept away in life's deluge
wherein you failed to offer me a hand.

Dear fair-weather friends and relatives
whose correspondence I have not returned,

if none of the preceding deaths are sufficient,
feel free to invent one.

If you possess the mental capacity, that is.

Over time, you may hear of uncanny sightings
of me sipping espresso somewhere in Europe.

I can assure you that this is nothing more
than a doppelgänger.

Under no circumstances,
not for love or money,
must you contact me.

Not by mail or telephone
or Ouija board.

Steven Bruce

P.S. I hope you have the life you deserve.


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