Know Nothing About Death

from by Singer Joy

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for Barb, for Len, for Diane, for Diupur.

i am travelling in a box in the sky
to get to a box where someone has died,
or will die,
but the physical body is only a box.
how could we live with ourselves if it was not?

when i was a child, i'd imagine
a coffin woven of willow branches:
porous to breathe through, with little holes to see you.
so sure of the afterlife, this would help me sleep at night.

i spent my time laying on the slate
roof beyond the cemetery gate.
if you laid below the lip of the stone,
the cops wouldn't find you and you'd never have to go home.

death is built in our DNA.
it's a barrier beyond which
we'll never reach if we keep wanting more time.

i have a friend who was already dead when we met.
his name is Thomas and he died when he was 16,
he is buried all alone beneath a tree.
we'd meet at his house and he'd let me cry and dance on his grave
and i let him lie.
but sometimes he would rise to meet me on the wind,
at first i wasn't sure if it was really him,
but it's a kind of warmth-- i could feel it in my skin
when i let it all out and i let him in.

death is built in our consciousness.
it's a new phase we don't understand
and we never will if we keep wanting more time.

it's not what Leary said (he said that more time is the answer),
but if i give it more time, am i not like a stone on a river--
ice in the middle of winter-- bitter witch gonna wither--

when you hold her hand you are giving her time.

and as we fall slow the leaves start to yellow,
i watch them fall through the window.

there on the trail where we buried him in the morning--
these things always happen without any warning, and

where will you be and what will you be doing?
who are we if we don't spend our whole lives proving it?


from Dimensions, released March 17, 2017



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