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   I submit to all terms and conditions.
   I relinquish my rights and my claims.
   I surrender my lands and my titles
   And the use of my family names.

   I give up all my wealth and my holdings
   And my keys to the door and the gate.
   I abjure all my known declarations.
   I abandon myself to my fate.

   I reject all my former positions
   And my present and future ones, too,
   And request to be stripped of my colors
   And my sword to be broken in two.

   Have my manuscripts shredded for stuffing
   An ottoman, cushion, or chair.
   Let the drives and the disks be erased now.
   Let my cloud dissipate in the air.

   May the gardens I've wandered through perish.
   May my poetry perish as well.
   May my number be struck from the ledger
   With the ultimate toll of the bell.

   Should my vengeance descend on the living,
   Let them bury my spite and my gall.
   If my love be not cherished by any,
   Let me not be remembered at all.

R.S. Gwynn has taught at Lamar University since 1976. He is the editor of Literature: A Pocket Anthology (Pearson Education). His most recent collection is Dogwatch (Measure Press, 2014).

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Author:Gwynn, R.S.
Publication:River Styx
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jul 1, 2015
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