Poetry: american death poem by Jonathan Hayes

american death poem

The last ornament placed on the Christmas tree is the star
The last part of the dragon to be tattooed are the eyes bringing it to life
The first cigarette in the pack goes upside down for good luck
The last shot on the basketball court is made before you leave the playground
The hardcore band’s flyer is not ripped off the stage until the show is done
The toothpaste gets pushed from the bottom up
The tongue of the toilet paper roll hangs down along the wall
I’m doing my best to not hog and pull the blanket off my wife in bed
yet, either way you do it, death comes tucking and uninvited

Jonathan Hayes lives by the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz, California with his wife and their cat. He is the editor / publisher of the long-running literary journal, Over the Transom. His chapbook, Purposeful Accident, was released by Holy&intoxicated Publications, England, 2022.


  1. Awesome poem! Oddly enough it evokes a lot of memories from my youth, and also relates to how I feel now that I’m older.

  2. Love the ending of this poem! It really pulls the rest of the poem together in a statement of life! Thanks Jonathan


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