(May 29, 1991 – August 7, 2010)
Where you went, are there blue lights
on the runway? Did angels in jumpsuits—
without wings or flowing hair—
shoot you into the air with a metaphysical
black jetpack to fly you,
a jetpack outfitted with existential engines
colored red to hit the sky.
The angels there smoke cigarettes
to make you feel comfortable.
Offering you an American Spirit,
a bearded one will smile.
They’ll say look,
you exist, existed, and even now—
—Are you now walking a dark path
among the blue lights of death,
more confused than when you left
that yes, in fact, you’re still awake?
I hope you’re bewildered to live.
I hope it begins to make sense.
I hope that love strikes you in the eyes.
Have you left yet?
The ancients used to say the soul
had trouble leaving the body,
like it was tethered to the bone,
a horse to a hitching post.
Maybe they’re outfitting you with books
there in eternity, some reading for the journey—
but it’s all poetry now, where your body goes through walls.
For us, all this talk of philosophy becomes useless.
Here, we need something more elemental than words.
You can’t be weighted any longer.
Or perhaps, like a ghost
you linger, but having lived,
all you see is beauty—
the trees, growing,
never a piece
of an infinite machine).
Your love for the world conducts the memories forth—
now you see electricity in all its currents
in colors our eyes never saw.
You can see a music in them.
Finally, some theories—even Sartre’s—
make sense, make love.
An angel whispers your name
before you take (life in) flight—
“When you tire of earth’s glory again,
the blue-lit runway awaits you.”