Every three seconds someone over sixty-five falls down in America.
Our records show
that you are over sixty-five
and may therefore have already fallen down in America
maybe more than once.
Perhaps upon entering your bath you slipped
and cracked open your skull and subsequently drowned
in a pool of blood.
If so, disregard this notice. Perhaps while gazing at the sea distractedly one day
your balance failed
and the waves carried you away toward the irradiated swells
If so, never mind—
the flesh has already peeled
from your limbs
and your eyes
have melted in their sockets
in which case
you should disregard this notice.
We need hardly remind you
that many of your friends
and relatives, perhaps beloved uncles, aunts, cousins, your seven brothers and sisters, parents assuredly,
may have succumbed in some manner to the fateful equation
of gravity and age.
In addition, it is likely
that your investments recently caved
and as a result, from the shock, you fainted upon the cheap Mexican tiles
of your dining room floor
and days later awoke
among impersonal professionals, masked and clad in white,
and addressing you
as if you were a child.
If so, you now know
that you are utterly alone
in this life.
Please favor us with a reply regarding our one-time offer which will soon expire.
—Michael Palmer, from The Laughter of the Sphinx.