Monday, November 05, 2007

Another bit of punchable narrative poetry. . .

Almost

I.

You see, I do not recommend dying
For I tried it once.

Above all, it was frustrating,
filled with sounds.
Sounds both happily terrifying and alone.

It might be the idea of many that the dead cannot hear at all.
This is wrong.
Hearing does not lessen upon the closing of the eyes
and the rotting of the flesh.
It magnifies and becomes more intense.
It is not that the dead hear nothing, but EVERYTHING.

When I was dead, I walked and sometimes flew,
or maybe I floated the whole time, I’m not sure.
It is so hard to remember.
I passed by the homeless man sleeping
on
the sidewalk with a
knit cap pulled down over his ears.
I passed by the woman walking to work in her
uniform,
cold in the morning air.

But I felt no cold.
I felt no heat.
I felt nothing.
That is to say, absolutely nothing. (very like a ghost)

Ah.

Aha.

I digress.

Let me tell you how it was . . .


II.

There are things I wish I understood
And death is one of them.
When I was dead, I thought I would
understand it better.
I did not.

I passed by a man who was walking
toward his doom and I tried to stop him.
But I couldn’t.
He passed through me when I confronted him.
Like I was a mist,
a shapeless thing
unfelt by
anything and
undisturbed.
I shouted at him,
but he did not hear me.
But it wasn’t that he wouldn’t.
He just couldn’t.

It was then that I wished
desperately
that I hadn’t shouted,
because it (my shout) howled
through my ears without pity or mercy.
The sounds around me,
of men walking their dogs,
of women on phones,
of children at play,
these were nothing.

These I could have dealt with.

It was the thoughts that I could not manage.

The truth is,
the dead can hear thoughts
clearer than they hear
the spoken word and other sounds.
The thoughts are relentless.
Putting my hands over my ears did nothing,
for I can’t be sure that I really had ears to begin with.


III.

So, in my state of
floating
walking
flying
I tried to make some sense of it all,
but nothing worked.

I couldn’t wrap my mind around it.

The sounds wouldn’t leave me alone, unrelenting.
I couldn’t even pray for death.
Do you have any idea how terrible it is to not even have that consolation, at least?

I do, for I experienced it.

I don’t know how I came back to tell you this
Perhaps I wasn’t really dead.
Perhaps I was only dreaming. (though I doubt this)
Maybe I was in that place between sleep and life
where the dream creeps before your eyes
and you see, almost, the truth behind it all.

So, take my word for it:

I do not recommend dying,
for I tried it once, and it was bad.

1 comment:

Sushi said...

I like it; perfectly melancholy. I wouldn't recommend dying either.

-Emily Dickinson