After This

We will live on a paved street or a rough
Alley left between walls, almost forgotten,
Or on the bank of a dry river bed
With rose petals running over jagged stone,
Or we will live, naked as bees, in a patchwork
Forest stitched with water drawn from the sky’s groin.

Sooner or later we will find ourselves
In the next world. And it will be like this
Or that. We will bring with us gold or shells
And find them useful or not, in the next world,
Or there will be no time to pack.
Our heads and fingers may be too-heavy burdens
Or easy as the air encircling us here.


This much, however, we may safely assume—
Guns will be slung over the shoulders of angels,
Guardian saints will be ready to call out the dogs,
Floodlights will sweep up the night,
Tanks will patrol the outer perimeter,
Landmines will litter the far fields,
Lest a sorry soul attempt to return
To correct the wrongs that it has done.

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