Into the Afterlife

By Cliff Saunders

What happens when you die?
I think you’ll open at last
into the pain of oceans,
into memory and its horizon,

into music, music, music.
I can’t tell you when the lilies
will be glorious, when red flags
will be singing over the edge

of an African rain forest,
but I support coming to your
doorstep, holding fish lost
in storms. I’ve got your back.

If you want, I’ll give you a bottle
of spider silk and a mad dash
of color to walk through.
I will not let you down.

You name it, I will help you
grow out of it. I will help you
find your next historic—
and possibly haunted—

ghost forest of chamber music.
All of a sudden, you’ll worship
lions covered in gold sparks.
There will be trees in your yard

your face needs. You’ll want
to watch as ants fall through
every rainbow in the sky
and land on lucky pennies.

Cliff Saunders is the author of several poetry chapbooks, including Mapping the Asphalt Meadows (Slipstream Publications) and This Candescent World (Runaway Spoon Press). His poems have appeared recently in Atlanta Review, Pedestal Magazine, Lullwater Review, Inscape Journal, The Phoenix, Vagabond City, The Main Street Rag, and Tipton Poetry Journal. Originally from Massachusetts, he now lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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