I think Death will come

when my face is wrapped

in warm towels in a barber shop.

We will exchange witty, brilliant,


noir chit-chat and comebacks in the delicious,

ambiguous moments of postponement

before the inevitable and ineffable.

I will feel rich, at last,


elegantly dressed as a mobster.

One cool customer.

I will finally have shaved this damn beard.

Until then, birdsong slits


the fabric of morning and aromatic shadows

spill on the trees and gold grass.

The coffee, black, hot, but not too hot,

the way I like it.

Leonard Gontarek has lived in Philadelphia for twenty years. He has taught and presented hundreds of poets through reading series in the area. He is the author of St. Genevieve Watching Over Paris, Van Morrison Can’t Find His Feet, Zen For Beginners and Deja Vu Diner (Autumn House Press, 2006). His poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Joyful Noise! An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry, American Poetry Review, Blackbird, BlazeVox, Pool, Fence, Field, and as a tattoo. www.leafscape.org/LeonardGontarek

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