After Life

by Maureen Alsop

I stand against the mortar & gravel; blind
to the clumsy fire
about to rifle me. My bound wrists

pulse: heartbeat: I do not know: I do not
know. I can not see the sky’s
gray mirror, a guillotine, that infinitely repeats
my name. I say that I am poised

at the edge of beauty and that my body rests
awhile. I say to myself, be without faith, be
                          Gentle is the soldier
whose words do not reach me. Gentle his blows…

Imagine              a little while              the physicality
of silence. It is not difficult.

of explosions and a pumping of air break
my hush…               The sun listens
               as another day prepares its silt:

Here, sleep breaks up my world.

I dream an improbable lung, and this lung
exhales my breath;
through gauzy, infolded
eyes I see You. And see

that I have known You
within every face: a conscious ether, alive

in emptiness. My body’s white flag
blinks. Not even a prayer