Unfolding the Last Moment

You might wonder

will it hurt

in the last moment

before death

and I’ll tell you

it’s as if

the cardboard box

of your life

is folded up

in an instant—

not like a cardboard container

you contend with—

strip the tape which held

its essence from one side

pull the flaps, turn and fold

No, it’s fast like lightning

a force of infinite gravity

instantly taking and giving

the speck of what you were

to a recycle bin—

and even if you had time

to ask yourself

Is this really happening?

your countless nerve cells

won’t have time to convey

pain to your brain because

you’ll be drifting in the wave

of your last breath

Richard L. Matta grew up in New York’s Hudson Valley, practiced forensic science, and now lives in San Diego with his golden-doodle dog. Some of his work is found in Ancient Paths, Dewdrop, Hole in the Head Review, San Pedro River Review, and Third Wednesday.