what did you understand beforehand about
the end of your self. what were you told it would be
like. did you prepare accordingly. did you feel
ready when it came and now that it has come
do you know that your eyes have closed
or are you seeing things more sharply now
that all the trappings of your self
are out of the way. maybe this is how
one becomes immortal. no one else ever knows
you are not gone. you see them mourning
and bang on the Glass between you saying
stop, no. i’m not gone. i can see all better
than before. that’s all that’s changed. i see
you and forgive you, love you, wish i had,
wish i had not. it isn’t jesus land here, nor is it
valhalla or even something better or worse.
it’s just here. it’s being here near all of
the everlasting here and always now
and not being able to be a part of it
or even to be seen. we throng here, all of us
longing to be seen and heard
and you don’t can’t won’t
see us. we never left. i’ve gone nowhere.
you can’t see me and cannot realize
how complete the world remains.
how little has changed.
whatever could you have understood
about any of this
if you had been told the truth.
no wonder someone had to invent heaven
and its neighborhood.
Snip snip and a snippet of fabric
tumbles and twirls to the middle
of the floor under the worktable
where it’s going to stay too far
from easy reach, safe from discard
or scrapping for the moment.
We are having a superhero cape made;
no time for the mess we leave behind.
Cape to wear when being heroic. Cape
to fling about dramatically upon victory
or to pull over our face as we slump in
temporary defeat. All the beautiful cloth
in such large dimension. All the dynamic
movement inherent in the drape and shape.
All you need to be a superhero is how you feel
when you’ve got the right cape. The waste
left behind is of no matter. The apparent blood
on the shears: is the blood coming from the hands
of tailors in the crowded shop or (more
fantastically, more illogical but still possible)
flowing in fact from the fabric itself; is it
possible? Do you in fact start with actual skin
to make a superhero cape work
and flow as it should?
It’s not our concern;
someone else makes the cape. We just twirl it,
make a great show of twirling it
as we put a supervillain temporarily away
because to vanquish them utterly we’d likely have
to take off the cape and get down on the floor.
Someone else gets down on the floor
to clean up the blood and the scraps;
then snip snip, start on a new one,
or perhaps on a shroud.
They have their calling. We have ours.
We live for the show. They are lucky to live.