In some schools of Buddhism, bardo … is an intermediate, transitional, or liminal state between death and rebirth. 

The sun angles wrong on my eyelids;
I resist waking in this strange place.

I feel my father’s room;
The plants gone, the walls striped
Of the photos of the many people he loved,
The chairs and chest huddled together,
The bed barren, the lounge chair empty,

His life in boxes 
To be removed.

The Waiting Room

In Death’s waiting room, I watch
The receptionist checking files, and
I tell her it’s not me. I don’t
Have an appointment
Yet, I hope.

This one here beside me,
Who is looking away and
Doesn’t know it’s time,
Who doesn’t want to go
Into the next room.

It’s not me, I tell her,
Not me yet, I hope.

Compostable Dust

I imagine death
socking me
as I change lanes,
my hair flying as
it did in my youthful dancing

I imagine death
dulling me
as I lounge
watching war and weather casualties
on the tv news

I imagine death
surprising me
while I stretch in yoga class
earnestly trying to reach

I imagine death
counting what years I have
and know more deeply
that I am dust.