When I die I will become music

by Mileva Anastasiadou

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán via Pexels. CC0 License.

Do not bury me when I die,
Turn me into a record,
To save your own life,
from ending unlived.
When I die I will become music,
I will sing to you the best of melodies,
Punk or emo,
You can choose,
Yet I will scream either way,
Asking you to live.
When I die I will become music,
I will sing to you the best of truths,
Another gadfly,
“To sting people and whip them into a fury,
All in the service of truth.”

When the skeleton inside is unveiled,
When flesh and blood vanishes,
When the choice is bones or ash,
That’s when life ends,
Yet you wonder,
Has life started?
Or are you still waiting?
You can endure much while waiting,
That’s what makes youth more tolerable,
You can waste time then,
There’s plenty of life ahead to waste,
Before you become a vinyl record.

You may spend your life fighting,
In a boxing ring,
Fighting for victory,
Preparing for life ahead,
That will be enough for a while,
That’s a way of life,
The usual way,
And I will sing “Eye of the Tiger”
Or any other song from Rocky,
To keep your spirit high.

“Keep your eyes on the ball,”
I shall sing,
Like Tom Robbins said,
In Skinny Legs and All,
And you will remain focused on the ball,
Until you wonder:

Then what?
You will get tired of boxing rings,
You will get tired of balls,
You will reach midlife,
When fighting is not enough,
When balls are not enough,
You may have a child or two,
That will bring you back to the beginning,
You could play innocent again,
Or you could move faraway,
And start from the beginning.

You will ask for meaning,
Not found in boxing rings,
Not even in chasing balls,
After all goals achieved,
Balls caught,
Games won,
Life feels empty,
Another rat race,
Before you become a vinyl record.

And you may wander in airports,
Or train stations,
Never boarding,
Just for the sake of it,
To watch life pass by,
Other people chasing goals,
Or balls,
Or victories,
Before they become vinyl records.

Hear the song to the end,
Hear the music,
The record is still on,
Enter a train,
Or an airplane,
Learn to walk around,
To taste and smell,
To see and hear,
To touch and love,
Learn to hear the silence,
And fight it with words,
Before you become another vinyl record.


Mileva Anastasiadou is a neurologist, living and working in Athens, Greece. Her work can be found in many journals and anthologies, such as the Molotov Cocktail, Maudlin house, Menacing Hedge, Jellyfish Review, Asymmetry Fiction and others. She has published two books in Greek and a collection of short stories in English (Once Upon a Dystopia by Cosmic Teapot Publication).


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