This evening, the sturdy pair of Levis
I wore every day for a year
& which seemed to the end in perfect condition,
How or why I don’t know,
but there it was – a big rip at the crotch.
A month ago my friend Nick
walked off a racketball court,
got into his street clothes,
& halfway home collapsed & died.
Take heed you who read this
& drop to your knees now & again
like the poet Christopher Smart
& kiss the earath & be joyful
& make much of your time
& be kindly to everyone,
even those who do not deserve it.
For although you may not believe it will happen
you too will one day be gone.
I, whose Levis ripped at the crotch
for no reason,
assure you that such is the case.
Pass it on.
Steve Kowit, “A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry” edited by Czeslaw Milosz: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1996