Living Will by Joe Dees


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Not You-thanasia: I expire!
So I take this statement - personally.
Thus I must be careful, clear, precise
And shape well this first draft of heart's desire
For fickle future guarantees
Not one revision ere demise.

I love my life, and can't conceive
What it could be like to lack for it.
I plan to spend my last breath's force
Struggling to draw just one breath more
And my last heartbeat loving leave;
But one can't love life unaware of it.

I require not movement, nor pain excised
Nor sex, nor peace of sanity
But consciousness. If paralyzed,
I can still read and watch TV
Listen to music and feel the sea
Or taste an apple, or smell bread bake
Remember, imagine, communicate
Know, think, experience, learn, create.

If I'm in pain, do what you can
To dull what you can without addling my brain;
Permit me to bear the rest of it
And if I'm brain-damaged or deranged -
Even if living is dim or strange -
Please help me to make the best of it.

But if rendered vegetal, ne'er to wake
That's death, as I define the term.
So don't feed a zombie on a tape
Or respirate just to stymie worms.
Just let my shell wither when it's cored
For it's of no further use to me.
What others need, to them afford
And powder the dross for sun or sea.