Jack Decides Against Becoming Immortal

by Kevin Brown

The cubicle congregation had gathered
on Tuesday morning, Lisa looking
at her screen, she the one who noticed
the news: Some science guy says we would live

to be one thousand years old.
Even middle managers stopped,
only on the outskirts

pretended to mull
over a meeting they would make
us attend. Hasn’t he seen vampire movies,
not that tween Twilight

crap, but real ones,
where the vampire hates his fate?
though Lisa looks like she would trade
all her tomorrows for a paradise

of pudding pops and people
who wouldn’t judge her love of them.

The scientist says we would be pain free,
but he only measures the material,
not the nine hundred more years
of the tedium of traffic

jams and long lines behind
coupon counters, the nine hundred more years
of divorce and disorienting death–
they can’t cure car crashes, can they?–
or nine hundred more years of reading

reports like the ones on my desk,
measure everything
but what matters.  Perhaps vampires
view a long life

differently because their mouths have met
our marrow, tasted our life
blood, seen our emptiness
before biting into the nothingness
of our necks.

 

Kevin Brown is a Professor at Lee University. He has published two books of poetry–A Lexicon of Lost Words (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry, Snake Nation Press) and Exit Lines (Plain View Press, 2009)–and two chapbooks: Abecedarium (Finishing Line Press, 2011) and Holy Days: Poems (winner of Split Oak Press Chapbook Contest, 2011). He also has a memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again (Wipf and Stock, 2012), and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels (Kennesaw State University Press, 2012). He received his MFA from Murray State University.

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