photo by mauricio alejandro ramos
Suzanne O’Connell is a poet and clinical social worker living in Los Angeles. Her recently published work can be found in Poet Lore, American Chordata, Alembic, Forge, Juked, Existere, and Crack The Spine. O’Connell was nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Her first poetry collection, A Prayer For Torn Stockings, was published by Garden Oak Press in 2016.
Do Not Play Dominos the Night You Die
Death is a career, not a game or hobby.
Curses and strikes of lightning can be expected.
Clouds will scurry forth and dress the moon in a fuzzy frock.
Look upward, meteors will spell out which game is best.
The coins and lost teeth will rattle in your pocket as you jump,
sounding like beans in a gourd,
marking time to a last rhumba.
Avoid the Ouija board. The big questions
have already been answered.
A songbook could be nice but avoid
Christmas songs that remind you of
family. Why aren’t they here, anyway?
Leap from your bed with ballet arms!
Shake your hips like you are Elvis.
Remove your pants under God’s supervision.
Your clothing will be removed soon anyway.
Raise those jazz hands to the sun that may not rise again.
I think it’s someone’s birthday today but not mine.
Let the candles on their cake burn with a fury
as I flame out in a frenzy of my own.
I will curse and dance with every pulse
until I snuff my candle out
and journey into the dying light.