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I Dream of the Afterlife

Elisabeth Harvor
From:   The Long Cold Green Evenings of Spring. Vehicule Press, 1997


Walking among all the cars
and the dainty joggers,

I dream of the afterlife,

picture Heaven
as an auto-free city,

picture idlers and polluters,
after the marriage between Hell and Hell,

tied like tin cans to the back doors
of the cars of the damned—

Let them be wreathed in (and breathe in)
exhaust fumes forever!

cross to the traffic-islanded
park, hurry through a glade

hung with a brief
fog of diesel,

pass the bricked-in bile
of the park's lagoon
of dead water, pass
under the high

spin and polish
of the innocent sky

while miniature flowers
sweet as choirs or tiny eyes

keep looking down
from their grandstands of lawn

far from the childhood air
of Bald Mountain,

untamed, fragrant
sting of it,

up among the wild pinks
of the roses, and it's
not just the bad air, either,
but the language—the dismantling of logic—

the host on the breakfast show
this morning saying, "And I'd like
to thank all you good people who
called in with your camping memories,
past, present and future—"

Tell me, all you good people
out there in Radio Land,

do you remember the
excavated aroma of the coffee

we used to drink
under the pine trees?

Seashells
cracked like eggshells

on the cold path to the beach?
The way we all used to

run down the
spine of the pure morning?



Elisabeth Harvor's works copyright © to the author.


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