Instructions to My Future Self
Michael Dechane

Instructions to My Future Self

If the time has come to remember your life
will only be one thoughtless breath gulped in
and this seeping fight against the exhalation,
be as kind as you can. Go back to the water.
Set out in your kayak, and paddle down the sun.
If it’s going to, let the moon rise on you.
Over the deep channels drift, eyes raised
to count only the unnecessary stars, long dead,
the light blasted out their collapsed and burning
mouths and stretched these millions of years,
fallen at last into your eyes, through a universe
in your mind. How much have they truly died?
Be depleted. Done, alone, exposed, keep under
the mercy of the night. Pray once but well enough
for a wind to come with a rhythm lapping
capless waves on the hull that holds you.
Let down your little folding anchor and feel
the wind-dried rope that warms your hands,
the salted air now steady, steady on your face.
Let your anchor mark its furrow in the mud.
Lay down now in this going rock.
Keep as you can the sound the wind makes.
Cast in the waves each word you could not speak.

Michael Dechane

is a graduate of Seattle Pacific University’s MFA program and a former carpenter, videographer, and speechwriter. His poems have appeared in Image and Saint Katherine Review. A native of Odessa, Florida, he currently lives in Zürich, Switzerland.