By Christopher Seiji Berardino
I will die in Miami in the sun. I will wake early in the dark and carry my old lawn chair down to the beach. I will pass the old pastel houses with open front gates. I will shuffle in between the stalls on Biscayne where old Haitians chop fish heads with cleavers. They toss limp offal to alley cats that paw for scraps. I think to myself, this should be an oil painting.
I will watch the big, copper sun rise above the horizon and burn in the sky. It will grow hot. Very hot. I will sit in my foldout chair on the sand and warm my skin. The waves will thread their foamy fingers in between my toes. I will see the lights on the water flicker.
They lull me to death.
My ghost will sit up and leave my wrinkly, sunburnt body behind on the beach, slumped in the rusty chair. I will stay for a while and watch the sirens rip through the streets embroidered with palm trees. I will watch the people stare and point and cry and wear phones for faces as medics wheel my body into the back. A little girl will peek through her sticky fingers. I am the first corpse she has seen. I am the death she has heard about. I am long rest. I am forever sleep. I am where prayers go. I am what will come for granny, what will come for mommy, what will come for her. No matter what.
It seems absurd to her. Absurd. A grown-up word that has found its use in the pit of her stomach. She will look into the back of the van and see my leg has fallen over the side of the gurney, already gray and stiff.
And before the doors are shut, before the sirens sound, I will see her walk down to the water’s edge and bury her favorite doll, as deep as she can dig.