This evening, the sturdy Levi's I wore every day for over a year & which seemed to the end in perfect condition, suddenly tore. How or why I don't know, but there it was: a big rip at the crotch. A month ago my friend Nick walked off a racquetball court, showered, got into his street clothes, & halfway home collapsed & died. Take heed, you who read this, & drop to your knees now & again like the poet Christopher Smart, & kiss the earth & be joyful, & make much of your time, & be kindly to everyone, even to those who do not deserve it. For although you may not believe it will happen, you too will one day be gone, I, whose Levi's ripped at the crotch for no reason, assure you that such is the case. Pass it on.
Steve Kowit (1938-2015) was a poet, essayist, teacher, and workshop facilitator. He published thirteen poetry collections, including Cherish: New and Selected Poems (University of Tampa Press, 2015).