The Daoist masters of immortality
Who used to poison greedy emperors
With longevity herbs for divine ambitions,
Where have they gone? Maybe they flew
Away to their magic islands on cranes.
Maybe they’re with their emperors again.
There are still plenty of things to eat
To make a body last longer, if no longer
In hopes of actual forevers. Zen and Yogic,
Biblical diets, elixirs of many varieties.
I can be smug about this while I’m still alive.
While I’m still alive, allow me to emphasize,
I have neither dreams nor intentions—
And certainly no dietary strategies—
For becoming another Macrobian.
If you come upon these revenants
In some desiccated heap of crumbling
Bones and texts in the desert, know I knew
That it would come, at best, to this
Or something like this. Spare me no tears
Or ironies. No ubi sunt when nowhere, me.