Fortunate to have a family plot he visits

his future gravesite at every family funeral.

The older he gets the more he imagines

a dry run scenario of lying in that windowless box,

a stone-cold body without a breath; he thinks it

must be like the MRI he had for his bad back,

only then he focused on each breath keeping

claustrophobic fears at bay. Contemplating the gaping hole

he recalls victims at Babi Yar, grateful he’ll be compliantly

lowered down, no willing executioners dutifully shooting,

burying him while still alive. Dreaming of his eventual demise

he welcomes his body’s release; he murmurs abracadabra, allowing his spirit,

soul or whatever it was that made him unique to soar, free to have

adventures he never had before

He piggy-backs on scuba divers just like he hung on to his father’s

freckled back swimming all the way from Far Rockaway to Brighton Beach.

He checks out delicate hues of tan, yellow, purple and green leathery-soft coral reefs

while searching for the brilliant red and orange six feet long Gorgonian sea fans,

happily hanging out in the Galapagos Archipelago viewing groupers, snappers,

grunts and wasses.

He stows away on top of tundra vehicles on Manitoba’s Churchill arctic tours

before the icecaps melt, watching polar bears nuzzle at the windows.

He joins a Mozambique safari, climbs the Chinanimani mountains all the way

to the Gorongosa Massive, resting on the cretaceous grantitic complex after seeing

his fill of elephants, rhinos and giraffes.

He sits behind a student pilot and learns to fly a Piper-Cub in order to fly

from Teterboro to Charlottetown, his summertime Shangri-La.

He’s spared the twenty-five million ticket to take off in a rocket ship,

where he floats up and down with astronauts, walks around the moon

and gets a glimpse of Jupiter and Mars. Scrutinizing the cosmos

for planetary nebulae he sees a red giant star eject its outer layer

in luminescent clouds revealing the dense, hot, tiny dwarf star at its core.

He winters south, like migrating Monarchs and Painted Lady Butterflies,

following Flycatchers and Honey Bees seeking succulent nectar, foraging

for pheromones in lilac colored blossoms, amaryllis and sweet alyssum

to fill up pollen baskets, finally having the time of his life, a life without regrets.