Weekly Poem: ‘Promissory Note’

By Galway Kinnell

If I die before you
which is all but certain
then in the moment
before you will see me
become someone dead
in a transformation
as quick as a shooting star’s
I will cross over into you
and ask you to carry
not only your own memories
but mine too until you
too lie down and erase us
both together into oblivion.

Galway Kinnell has taught at several universities, and for many years he was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University. He has been a MacArthur Fellow and the state poet of Vermont. In 1983, Kinnell received both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for his “Selected Poems.”