After Life

We will bury my uncle today. I sip coffee in the early morning air alone. To be with the trees and the cool grass and the little birds which flutter here and there. Processing. He was too young and as I say it I know it isn’t true because the only way you know how old you really are is if you know the day you are going to die and nobody can ever know that shit. I think about death which is a way to think about life in reverse. What could you have done and all that jazz. What will you do now. How will it feel to burn beneath the tears. How will the rain smell as we stand around embracing and not embracing. Speaking and holding back. The human condition is so strange in ways we pretend we cannot see because we don’t know the words to say. There are the things we know, the things we believe, and the things which are entirely a mystery. These are all woven together even though we keep trying to pull them apart. To touch the face of God. To Rest In Peace. To leave, to be gone. To be over. To be left behind with life beating soft through your veins like a time bomb. Like a gift. Like a joke. Like a complete stranger breathing from your own lungs. I grip the hardness of the coffee mug. I walk upstairs to my darkened study and light what is barely left of a lilac candle among my plant covered makeshift altar. I stare at the chipped veil and hands of the virgin mother statue my grandmother gave to me long ago. The sky is brightening behind her as if morning is a thing that will never stop rising over the treetops and the creatures and all of us. I see a robin upon the wire outside my window and as I watch him fly off into the heavens all by his thin-winged lonesome, the tiny flame of the candle burns out.

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