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A New Year Death

Crowds in the stores
On the last days
Of the New Year sales:

The stasis of souls,
Swiped cards, coins
From pockets and purses

Placed on the dead
Tongue of counters.

The finite stuff remains:
The garbage spill, empty
Cartons, rotting food,

Couches and cushions
Curved where someone
Sat in despair, neglected,

Dust on the photos
Of memorialised youth,
Flies on the window

Marking the mortality,
The skeleton statistic.

Passing by churches
Emptied of promises
Of life after life, each

Of us has our own mere
Existence, discounted
To a once-only price,

The bargain of our lives.
So help yourself! Help yourself!

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