Third Paradigm » Other Writings » Becoming Yeast

Thoughts on the Afterlife

for isa dempsey

Don't waste your sorrow on her.
Awake before, she'll stick around,
a milkweed pod now burst open
and blown by the wind. She is
everywhere at once, untamable.
Hear her voice, still laughing.

Even the soul who's barely
cracked out of its tight-fisted
shell merely sleeps through,
to be wakened gently in time
for the resurrection. If I were
God, that's how I'd design it,
and surely God has a bigger
heart than mine.

But for the ready-made angel,
there are several jobs
for which she's been
training all her life:
imaginary friend of only children,
prophetess to taunted adolescent,
keeper of lovers gone but not forgotten,
keeper of hope in countries not forsaken,
witness to the small kindness,
profligate spender of praise.

Too shy to sing, she'll stand
behind you, elbows jutting out
like pointy wings, and gently
chiding: "You don't have to eat
all the problems of the world
in one bite. Digest
a little first, it will keep."

She will tell you that you are
an otherworldly being,
a spiral in evolution,
a translator of birdsong.
She will ask to skywrite
your poem in the clouds.
It will be harder to believe
without her voice, but your ego
never lies this extravagantly.

In fact, dare I say, bless
the passing that releases the one
that we would hoard and keep.
As spirit, she covers the earth,
relaying the words of our heart
more reliably than language.
Small and nimble, she is everywhere,
willful and fierce as a bluejay.
She hops ahead of you, squawking,
"make way for the chosen one,"
putting the twinkle back
in God's eye.