On Death and Every Sweet Flying Thing

On Death and Every Sweet Flying Thing
Pui Ying Wong

Of course it is absurd to die
by way of a flying banana
that strikes like a brick
at a hundred miles per hour.

Death like this
even in a storm can’t compare to,
say, being swept out to sea
or getting knocked off a boulder
which would be heroic
and cause no shame.

And it’s not just bananas,
avoid mangoes and pineapples,
avoid every sweet flying thing
coming your way, so
a poet warns.

Who wouldn’t want death
for an excruciating old age.
If ill, let it be brief, the mind,
let it be intact, regrets,
let there be none or few.

Think of the woman
daring to spy but getting suffocated
in the chimney of her lover’s house,
the man at the stadium
leaping for a foul ball and tumbling
fifty feet below,
or the young cyclist
sent into the oncoming traffic
by a wayward trashcan.

You can argue you have been good
and do not deserve to die
by a fly-by banana, true, but
does your neighbor deserve it more?
The banana, if flying, has
to hit something, right?

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