Some say the purest death
is to be ravaged alive
by beasts.
A final communion with creation
and instinct.
I could give myself to the lions
as red men gave their flesh
with joy to birds of prey, a feast
laid high on offering altars of pine,
their bodies rising
bite by bite to fill
the mouth and longing arms
of God.

If I should die on African soil
at the pawing of tigers or men,
I pray the ants will piggyback my
sunpressed crumbs across
each undulation
of the ancient and barebreasted earth
and leave me soul to soil,
to nurse the hungry wild
and mingle with the stars.

c. Pamela Goode