“I only desire to find out knowledge . . . which may instruct me how to die well and how to live well.”
—Michel de Montaigne
“Life Skills”—the mindless high-school class that knocks
Into our callow heads the way to do
The forms we face whenever something new
Requires our consent: a job, some stocks,
Our wedding vows, the keys to office locks,
Insurance claims, a condo with a view.
Just check right here and sign right there—you’re through.
Hearse drivers see who’s learned to fill a box.
New forms will school survivors when we die:
Interment forms and probate forms and more.
Few experts in death’s forms will hear the cry
Rabboni! echoing through a tomb’s wide door:
The voice of Mary, stunned to see the face
Of One no scribe could ever hold in place.