The Ghosts That Awake At Midnight

That’s how we honor the dead, we buy their books

we make their old hit songs new hit songs again

we donate generously to research the disease that killed them

and if they were hit by a bus, we start taking taxis out of respect

survivor’s guilt

it is the cultural norm we all share

we just share it in different ways

in my culture in lieu of flowers we donate to the Cancer Society

in the Ummagumma tribe in Papua New Guinea they throw rocks at each other

while practicing self-flagellation

which is hard to pull off with only two hands

but, still the Ummagummas do this sometimes until some one else dies

then they have to go through the violent funeral rites all over again

while we just keep smoking cigarettes and hope we get hit by a bus so our dying words can

be:

I told you so.

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