Getting Away

I’d walk the long road out of here,
even take the bus back,
forward or backward — no matter
the discomfort — just not to be
wedged here, caught always in this
same moment, this space
that surrounds me, that I carry
with me like a pedlar’s pack

because what else is there
finally but death, and who
knows what that is or whether
it would be better, although
sometimes I think so,
but other times I don’t,
am pretty sure, in fact,
it’s just a cold hole

in the ground and rotting,
but then you hear sometimes
about other ways of
thinking, not Heaven and Hell
so much — Though, hey, who knows?
It just might be — but what
I’m really thinking is
how the Hindus believe this

life we’re living now is all
illusion, Maya, I believe
is the word, or maybe Samsara,
one or the other, but anyhow
the point is to get out
and not keep coming back
as a rat or a person or something
due to your Karma I think

it is, and I’ve also heard
when people die they don’t
feel cold but warm, like some
light’s coming down to embrace
them, and they sort of enter
and then look down at their bodies
and friends and all
until someone says, Whoops,

sorry, it’s not your time
just yet, we almost took you
before you were done.
And the person who thought
he was dead says, What
the Hell? I thought I was
finally going somewhere
else for once, someplace

that mattered, not just out
to lunch or back in time,
but really there, and then
he sees he has to go back
home and cut the grass
and pay the bills and stuff
like that again, and that’s
what really gets me

because if I knew, I mean truly
believed it would be like that,
I’d go there now, and so
would you — you know it — by foot
or bus or plane or however
you could, you would, you know it,
which is probably why
they keep it all hid.


Hear it:


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