Death travels back in time to write
a postcard, buy a tie, to order
a take-away, to have a signet
ring engraved with his family crest.
He buys a pint, writes in a notebook,
then takes a train to London King’s Cross
to snap a selfie on a platform,
Harry Potter fan that he is.
Death breaks into a car and joy rides
along the M1 motorway; he
picks up a speeding ticket and
a criminal record on the way.
His fake ID scam ensures that when
he stages a jail-break, an unsuspecting
accountant will end up serving
the rest of Death’s eighteen-month sentence.
Death finds himself proposing to
a starry-eyed, naïve young Goth.
He jilts her at the altar, having
discovered his pansexual nature.
Death decides to adopt a puppy.
He ties a piece of string around
its neck, then ties the other end
to the gates at Buckingham Palace.
Death takes a holiday in Crete.
He fights a minotaur, drinks too
much ouzo, sleeps for a whole week
and wakes up on a flight back home.
A drunken and disorderly
Death causes panic on the flight,
which has to be diverted to
Cairo, both pilots being drunk as well.
Death briefly works in medicine,
but is struck off due to his patients’
one-hundred percent death rate and
his unconventional appearance.
Death signs up for a library card
and spends a month enlightening
himself about death camps, death masks,
death metal and Death on the Nile,
which soon becomes his favourite novel.
He listens to Death at One’s Elbow,
but fails to appreciate it.
He prefers Girlfriend in a Coma.
Death embraces surrealism.
He gets a tattoo of Lobster
across what would have been his forehead,
and a pink T-shirt with Grave Concerns on it
in lime green comic sans. The back
reads: I am going to wait till Death arrives
before answering that vexatious
question about the existence of God.
Death keeps mementos; artefacts
preserved; existences remembered;
reminders of what life can be; to keep
in mind the thing that he is ending.