They Didn’t Ask: What’s After Death

They didn’t ask: What’s after death? They were
memorizing the map of paradise more than
the book of earth, consumed with another question:
What will we do before this death? Near
our lives we live, and don’t live. As if our lives
are desert lots disputed by the gods
of real estate, and we are dust’s bygone neighbors.
Our lives are a burden to the historian’s night: “Whenever
I hide them they come into my view out of absence . . .”
Our lives are a burden to the artist: “I paint them,
then I become one of them, and fog veils me.”
Our lives are a burden to the general: “How does blood
flow from a ghost?” And our lives
should be as we wish. We want to
live a little, not for anything . . . other than to respect
resurrection after this death. And they quoted,
unintentionally, the philosopher’s words: “Death
means nothing to us. We are and it isn’t.
Death means nothing to us. It is and
we aren’t.”
Then they rearranged their dreams
in a different manner. And slept standing!


Nothing Pleases Me

Nothing pleases me
the traveler on the bus says—Not the radio
or the morning newspaper, nor the citadels on the hills.
I want to cry /
The driver says: Wait until you get to the station,
then cry alone all you want /
A woman says: Me too. Nothing
pleases me. I guided my son to my grave,
he liked it and slept there, without saying goodbye /
A college student says: Nor does anything
please me. I studied archaeology but didn’t
find identity in stone. Am I
really me? /
And a soldier says: Me too. Nothing
pleases me. I always besiege a ghost
besieging me /
The edgy driver says: Here we are
almost near our last stop, get ready
to get off . . . /
Then they scream: We want what’s beyond the station,
keep going!
As for myself I say: Let me off here. I am
like them, nothing pleases me, but I’m worn out
from travel.