In My Next Life
by Mark Perlberg
I will own a sailboat sleek
as fingers of wind
and ply the green islands
of the gulf of Maine.
In my next life I will pilot a plane,
and enjoy the light artillery
of the air as I fly to our island
and set down with aplomb
on its grass runway.
I'll be a whiz at math, master five or six
of the world's languages, write poems
strong as Frost and Milosz.
In my next life I won't wonder why
I lie awake from four till daybreak.
I'll be amiable, mostly, but large
I'll insist you be present
in my next life—and the one after that.
"In My Next Life" by Mark Perlberg, from Waiting for the Alchemist. © Louisiana State University Press, 2009