There's that skull that monks - at least as we see them in paintings - had on their tables to remind them of death.

Memento Mori


This skull instructs
Me now to probe
The socket bone
Around my eyes
To test the nose
Bone underlies
To hold my breath
To make no bones
About the dead

From The Niche Narrows: New and Selected Poems (Talisman House Publishers, 2000), copyright © Samuel Menashe 2000, used by permission of The Library of America for the Estate of the author.

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