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Reincarnation

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People say they don’t believe in reincarnation
yet here we are,
the living embodiments of everybody we ever met,
many who we haven’t,
all the school dinners we ate
or discarded,
homework grades,
flunks and fails,
wedgies,
proms,
first dates,
first interviews,
Friday bus drivers
who didn’t look you in the eye,
grocery store clerks who
served you with a desolate sigh,
the guy who said “three second rule”
and ate a hairy hamburger.
People at the zoo,
people who love zoos,
people who hate zoos,
Steve Jobs,
David Letterman,
Osama Bin Laden
and the red-shirted crewman
who never came back from the away mission
to the Romulan home planet.
Don’t tell me you’re on your own,
don’t tell me you’ll leave no mark on the world;
you’re the butterfly who makes the sky quake every single time you flap your wings.
You can be the trash that lasts a thousand years,
you can be the way the world says “cheese” in photographs,
you can be the reason they have a law against that,
you can be the one that came before everyone who followed,
even if they don’t care or notice,
you can be the reason they don’t pronounce the “p” in pneumatic.
Be the body under the tree,
be the candy wrapper in a train tunnel,
be the weird girl that walks round and round and round and round the park,
be the way my parrot says “hello”and stares.
Don’t tell me you’re never going to live forever
because you’re already there.

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