Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Book of the Dead for Dummies

The Book of the Dead for Dummies

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 feel 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 banquet if the guests are 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
demonic godsI might have been reborn already. 
Everyone I treat 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 after-shave, 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.

By Chris Banks

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