Life Insurance (Free Consultation) by Peter Krumbach

Say I’m  killed  by  lightning while  feeding  a  horse.  A  light  drizzle,
the meadow wide and lush. Say the horse  is  cinnamon-brown  with
steam  rising  off  its  hide.  The  animal’s  lips  lovingly  warm,  sugar
cubes  in  my  palm.  Will the  happiness survive?  If  any  part  of you
survives,   the   negotiated  benefit  cannot  be    released   and  will  be
retained  by the custodian  bank until  you’ve  fully  expired
. Were I to
haunt my house,  make  my  spouse  sense a  sudden  chill  as I bow to
kiss her neck, have the wine in  her  glass ripple  enough  to  catch her
eye and make her shudder, would I  be considered  dead? Technically
speaking,   yes  —  provided   you  had  been  successfully cremated or
Is it possible the death of all  my  memories  causes  a  vortex
that  violated my past,  including  this  contract?  No.  Sixty days after
your  exit,   the   stipulated   sum  is    transferred    to   the  designated
  Can I sign with my blood  — the lone authentic ink,  the
carrier of stardust whose crimson may not be crimson  at  all? We use
DocuSign,   for   discreet   digital   processing   and   safekeeping.  Any
other questions?
Dying seems so crude.  Can’t I  just disappear?  That
might be a problem.  Without a death  certificate,  the policy won’t be
   What  if  I’m  executed.  As   long  as  we  have  evidence —
preferably video footage — then everything’s fine.

Peter Krumbach was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia. His most recent work has been or is about to be published in Beloit Poetry Journal, Bitter Oleander, jubilat, Massachusetts Review, New Ohio Review and Willow Springs. He lives in California.