If I Die Before You

If I die before you do not let the men
with the paper hearts make you cry,
do not believe their fearful smiles
or their well-intentioned lies,

do not let them wear for me
the empty mourning of pressed blacks,
do not let them furnish my soul
with perfumed rooms or burning wax;

just step outside and remember
that I am more fire and air than earth,
just remember that my death
is also an incandescent birth;

just listen to the swallow sing
of his passage from darkness to light
and believe me when I say
his migration is the picture of my flight;

just think of me as the wind
that picks up and carries a fallen leaf,
and leave the men with the paper hearts
to sit alone with their paper grief.