now we place gold in your mouth, and we place poppy and honey in your hands. Salve aeternum.
A gold coin in the mouth; hands full of poppy and honey:
these are the final gifts of your earthly businesses.
And don’t let them incinerate me like a Roman:—
I want to taste my sleep in the womb of the earth.
I want to rise again as the spring corn,
circle the ancient track that the stars follow.
In the darkening grave, poppy and honey will rot,
the dead man’s mouth will swallow the gold coin…
But after many, many years of darkness
a stranger will come and dig my skeleton up,
and inside the blackening skull that his spade
smashes, the heavy coin will clang —
and the gold will flash in the midst of bones,
a tiny sun, the imprint of my soul.