where we go from here


“Yes, sweetheart?”

“Where do we go when we die?”

He paused to ponder the depth of her question for a moment, before replying.

“We go everywhere in between what is here, beautiful - we go into nothingness, into the void. Into everything that has ever decayed, dissolved, or been destroyed. We become ghosts that move in the air as doors close. The music in musicians that they never have the chance to compose. We become the magic that moves up the magician’s sleeve. The trips taken by luggage that is stored in the attic and never gets to leave. We become the hands of the clock that stop before it’s too late. We skip around fluffy clouds, come down to visit with the rain and then evaporate. We become all the itches and twitches and the chills that people feel inside. The decisions that are driven before two cars collide. We become the places people never go and the places they’ve never been. The premonitions, predictions, and predicaments people find themselves in.”

She looked at him excited and fascinated - and with that invitation, he continued.

“Little one, we become the lungs of fish and insects, the bones of invertebrates and the hearts of trees. We go into the medicine of the placebo, the healing of hurting and the cure for the incurable disease. We become the radio waves that travel through bodies and connect with machines. The deletions and mutations that can occur as chromosomes replicate their genes. We become the places between the here and the there. The places people make up as they say their prayers. We become black holes and white dwarfs, fixed or floating inside the fray. The things the blind can see, the deaf can hear and the mute can say. We move into the toes of worms that eat the dead and into the hands of birds. Into the pauses within conversations and the blank spaces between words.”

He watched the sense of wonder in her glimmer and grow, as he went on.

“We become all the change left in the piggy bank, little buddy, and the blank checks that never cashed. The pictures that were never taken, the cameras in the night that failed to flash. We become the echoing voices in valleys, the last mile to the peak we never hiked. The reasons for riots and rallies, the sustenance in stomachs during hunger strikes. We become the currents of dreams. The things that aren’t what they seem. We become the space between filaments and the fever in the frost. The homes of the homeless and the compass for those that are lost. We become the freedom inside the slave, the hope in the alcoholic’s empty flask. My love, we become the questions that cannot be answered and the ones we never ask.”