Gloria Mundi

Come to my funeral dressed as you
would for an autumn walk in the woods.

Arrive on your schedule; I give you permission
to be late, even without good cause.

If my day arrives when you had other plans, please
proceed with them instead. Celebrate me

there—keep dancing. Tend your gardens. Live
well. Don’t stop. Think of me forever assigned

to a period, a place, a people. Remember me
in stories—not the first time we met, not the last,

a time in between. Our moment here is small.
I am too—a worldly thing among worldly things—

one part per seven billion. Make me smaller still.
Repurpose my body. Mix me with soil and seed,

compost for a sapling. Make my remains useful,
wondrous. Let me bloom and recede, grow

and decay, let me be lovely yet
temporal, like memories, like mahogany.

Michael Kleber-Diggs, “Gloria Mundi” from Worldly Things. Copyright © 2012 by Michael Kleber-Diggs. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company LLC on behalf of Milkweed Editions,