I was beginning my death chant
so the old ones would hear me—
no no, the attendants explained,
first you must give out a rattle,
so that we can know—
                      but we've
already agreed I'm dying, I replied—
no no, that's not enough, they said,
and besides, these are scientific times,
we must have something to count,
records must be kept—
                          that's what
you think, I said, turning to the wall
and beginning to call out the names.

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