Manifesto for Dying

Manifesto: When I am old I will be completely different than I am right now.

I will be large and shaped like a soft toad.
I will have deep wrinkles all over my body, even on my breasts.
I have learned recently to wear bright lipstick and will sleep in purple silk pajamas that cut a scandalous "V" to reveal the top of my large shelf.
I will be loud and pious and pray earnestly for my grandchildren and the harvest.
Loudly and piously, and then I will drink a cold beer.
I will eat fish on Fridays, pie on Tuesdays, and cookies on Thursdays, and Saturdays, and Sundays.
I will live alone, because I am a widow, in a house smelling of lavender and mothballs and mildew with raccoons for my neighbors.
And I will like it, because I have chosen it.
And I will be called Irene.

And when I am old, I will be quiet.
I will bake and cook until they take the knobs off of the stove.
I will wash the dishes gladly, and be confused and hurt when they rewash them.
I will try to read the newspaper.
I will cry for the Pope's funeral on the TV and think it is my husband's.
I will finally loose weight,
and then more,
and more.
I will not remember my daughters, but I will have loved them.
I will die alone, though I was always afraid to.
And when I am old they will tell me I am called Florence.

And when I am old I will be a patriarch.
I will drink too much.
I will be hard and will have hurt people
but I will have loved more than most.
I will have many sons and be proud to know the surrogacy was mutual.
I will take dimensions, and build.
Oh, will I build.
Boxes and trucks and tables
and airplanes and bikes and sausagemakers
and bars
and homes
and bars in homes, and homes in bars.
I will hurt and bleed and I will still dance.
I will get many types of cancer.
I will not go until they tell me to.
And I will be named Teddy.

And when I am old I will be afraid of water.
I will only take pictures in which I look pitiable or mean.
I will not leave a legacy, except a few fists that snuck out
and tears that defiantly sprung forth when I feared for my son.
I suppose I will be called Peter.

But I am young.
I am not these people.
I hate the color purple and the idea of the Pope.
I am not yet an alcoholic.
I hope to leave a legacy.
Now I am young, and called Jennifer.