Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Forty
Spring 2016
How to Avoid Being Buried Alive and Other Tips for the Dying
Kryssa Schemmerling

When the end is nigh gather your secrets and jewels. The dead don’t talk but money does.
A woman once awoke from the long sleep when grave robbers broke into her tomb. She lost
her necklace but walked home and outlived, by six years, the husband who laid her to rest.

Try not to expire any place where someone might be inclined to dispose of your body quickly:
in hotel rooms, the wrong arms, or within kicking distance of curbs.

Have lamb’s blood on hand for eleventh hour infusions. It didn’t work
for George Washington but it might for you.

Each night before turning in, place a note beside your bed: “I’m not really dead.”

Carry a mirror to catch your breath. Mist signifies life.

Remember Emily Dickinson’s last words: “I must go in, for the fog is rising.”

Or Joan Crawford’s: “Damn it! Don’t you dare ask God to help me!”

Or baseball player and World War II spy Moe Berg’s: “How did the Mets do today?”

Attach bells to your coffin lid and keep ringing.

About Kryssa Schemmerling

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