Let me be baroque in death as I’ve been practical in life.

Let six black-plumed stallions draw the black-gloss carriage

wherein my black-gloss casket rests upon a maple plinth

festooned with lilies – outrageously frilled and huge white

lilies exploding from every crevice, their syrupy

musk clagging the air for miles around. Let us halt all

deliveries. Let the golden trim of the vast black wheels

flash and wink as we roll by, let the mourners’ wails fly

above the roofs of inappropriately mundane semis

where only grandpa doesn’t doubt his seeing eyes.

Let the teenagers of the parish be absolved from Maths

and History and PE, and instead beat timpani, their pale

necks bowed to the heavy instruments, the beat

recalling the slow-time march of an invading army,

while out in front a lone flautist in velvet drapes

presages our coming with tones as dissonant and forsaken

as a freight train horn petitioning the night. Afterwards,

let there be rain: sudden and catastrophic rain

for a thousand days, washing all the pavements clean.