I am past my expiration date. Some would argue
water is not a human right. Maybe we are all dead
awaiting rebirth. I do not believe the world exists.
The universe is a giant hologram. Any first death
is a practice run. We are stranded together amongst
the office towers and traffic cops and billboards.
Commuters read popular novels. Stare out windows
on the subway awaiting resurrection. I wish I had
been a better person in a previous life. Miracles
go unseen. Bombs explode on prime-time news.
I am stuck in a holding pattern. Past-life regressions
are incarnations to prepare you for the other side.
What kind of prison is this with its plastic water
bottles and big-box stores? I am plotting escape.
Let me begin again. I fall asleep every night
only to wake in the same place. Is it wrong to love
the feast if the guests are all ghosts? I am bound
for a certain term to think about online profiles
and the spirit’s inferno. Purgatory is a late shift.
Experience is an illusion. Had I grown up with
demon gods, I might have been reborn already.
I treat everyone like emissaries of the hereafter.
Heart attacks are the way some people transition.
Over time it occurs to me my body is a reliquary
of stardust and unyielding losses, and despite my
love of calla lilies, the smell of aftershave, massage
therapy and hotel pedicures, Arabica coffee and
French baguettes, morning smoothies and air travel,
as an astral plane, I give this one three stars.