how many pastlivesago was it,
what at the time
and I’ve been damned a few hundred times since,
crossed oceans that now seem like ponds,
what you did the same with puddles
and just as easily sank toodeepdown
the old winding creek-bed
with the half-assed bridge about its bank,
oh, how many ghosts did you meet after me
following the deer trail up the ridge,
conifers now, not deciduous,
but talking endlessly
about the same old bullshit I thought we left behind,
buried but somehow cycled to be
with our first deaths
being somehow the deadliest,
and carried with us on to the next,
to the preachers who so often eulogized
one more stupid time,
who don’t even seem to notice
the rote monotony
in their rituals,
as though some
slightly different words
calling on some
slightly different gods
made death any less dead,
or ghosts any less
their “already but not yet”
kingdom come
what at the time
even if now I’ll settle
for a silent god
and keep my mouth shut
all the same.

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