Death Contemplation – a poem by Ash Dean

Death Contemplation

Is it dangerous?

..a woman called Kathy an online forum,
then at 12: 56 AM..zendude..from Albuquerque,

replies..not if you do it right
..followed by a cheerful yellow emoji.

when I am walking to work

in the mellow light,
the nutty autumn smellin the air

as I pass a row of ginkgos,
magpies resting in the branches:

I contemplate a universe minus me,
tho it is not the wasting away

of the parts of my body,
the..impermanence..of me

that I..attempt to foresee, is..Youleft behind—

bathed in a baroque light
that appear

both alive and permanent.
You are on the first floor

of a modest..but pleasant house.
There is an oak table

a chairand a burgundy sofa,
outside I imagine a slight chill in the air

just to make the home seem more scrutable
I am trying to find a way

to arrive

for me to be gone.

It’s not as if I want to go,
for I cling with all my might:

I’d make any deal to stay here with you
throughjust one

another night,

I make a list:
…….• exercise,
…….• eat right,
…….• no more sugar
…….• or cholesterol:

of course, you never know,
as they say, your time

is your time: for now, I am
here with you together

on this bus as I notice The mountain forms
a deep arcopening to the south

sopassing…….through one tunnel
..the bus is momentarily

in the sunlight
..before it enters another tunnel

here where you make me happy a weekend morning,

A familiar radio voice the..background

..while I am working
on something I never intend

to proclaim is complete:
but the..mind of the universe

is a shuttered building
in the industrial district,

incomprehensible machines,
clattering inside,

the occupants……inattentative
to the lists I might leave behind,

the tunnels

I try to reduce
my list to..what

can be



Ash Dean grew up in Ferguson Missouri. He is a graduate of The International Writing Program at City University of Hong Kong. His work has appeared in Cha, Drunken Boat, Gravel, Ma La, Mason’s Road, Soul-Litand Afterness: Literature from the New Transnational Asia. He is the author of Cardiography from Finishing Line Press.  He lived in Suzhou, China for 6 years. He currently lives in Songdo, South Korea.

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