I’ve been told when a human dies the Soul misses the Body.
Actually grieves, grieves the loss of its hands and all they could hold.
Misses the kissing lips, the searching tongue, the throat closing shy
reading out loud on the first day of school.
The Soul misses the weather of the chest,
the hard whether when love walks away.
Misses the stubbed toe, the churning belly,
and the funny bone. The Soul still asks, Why did the funny bone do that?
The Soul misses the tears and the thirsty garden cheeks.
Misses how the Body could sleep through a dream.
What else could sleep through a dream? What else could laugh?
What else can wrinkle the smile’s autograph?
The Soul misses the falling eyelash waiting to be wished.
The river wrist screaming away the blade.
The underdog heart winning, winning, winning the game.
The Soul misses the lisp, and the limp, and the coyote mind
always plotting a new shape, a new size.
The Soul misses how hard the eyes fought off history to see clearly,
to see the holy bruise- blue from that army of blood rushing to the wound’s side.
When a human dies the Soul scours the universe for something blushing,
for something shaking in the cold, for something with teeth
biting its own nails to calm the panic nerve,
for something stretching the word “brave” up up into love.
The Soul misses love, that swinging chandelier in the shack-castle chest.
Even misses the grief fist-fighting the light,
breaking the light’s jaw, spitting on its faith.
“What else can hunger?” the Soul asks.
"What else can freckle? What else can clumsy?"
The fist that was never taught to curl- curls.
The teeth that were never taught to clench- clench.
The Body that was never taught to make love makes love
like a hungry ghost digging its way out of the grave.
The Soul misses the un-forever of old age, the skin that no longer fits.
The Soul misses every single day the Body was sick, the NOW it forced,
the HERE it built from the fever.
The Soul misses the way the body inflamed to hold its own loneliness.
Misses the legs aching up the stairs, misses the fear
that climbed up the vocal chords to curse the wheelchair.
The Soul misses how the Body could not let go.
What else could hold on so tightly to everything?
What else could hear the chain of a swing
and fall to its knees on the kitchen floor?
What else could touch the metal grate of a screen door and taste lemonade?
What else could come back from a war and not come back…
would hold its own ears, curled up in the basement on the 4th of July
then walk up the stairs to hold a daughter, to sing a lullaby?
When a human dies the Soul moves through the galaxy
trying to describe how the Body breathed, how it cried for its mother,
how a wound would heal given nothing but time.
Do you understand? Nothing in space ever believes.
No ray of light can fathom the speed of terror, the heat of shame,
a belly full of butterflies, the fingertips pulling that first gray hair
and throwing it away.
“How could we possibly believe in goose bumps,” the stars say.
“How could we possibly believe?”