I Finally Figured Out About Dying --- (And I Wanted To Tell You Before It Was Too Late)
I Finally
Figured Out
(And I Wanted
To Tell You
Before It Was
Too Late)

I finally figured out this dying stuff
And thought I'd better tell you before it's too late.
The way it happens is this: we are allowed
To vacate the premises at our leisure.
We can check out today or in a week or year or in fifty years or so
Depending on our agenda
And what's gone on before us.

Once we depart, we can scarcely believe our eyes
Since we no longer have eyes (nor nose, nor mouth,
nor body, nor anything to speak of).
We break open as soaring fire
or a butterfly flower
with all our senses and non-senses intact;
We are torn apart as the godly winds
turn and return us as neutrinos,
photons, electricons, prototrinos, floresconsias,
cladesones, fidesonas, pico-consargos-candos.
That's the universe we'll know
After we (and they) consent to our dying,
place us in the cupping hands out there.

With no taste at all we taste all;
With no ears we hear there is no silence;
With no eyes towering lights become us;
With no skin, we enclose everything, everywhere;
With no space, we are turned all space
And reach fifteen billion or so
æons extending our days
so we can begin to end our days
(which no longer exist as days)
and nights (which no longer exist as days nor nights).

And there, my love, is the rub of the last of space:
There is no space there, at least no space not filled
with time bent arching back onto itself.
There is no lack of anything,
most of all
there are no lack of thoughts,
thoughts repeated, repeated again,
thoughts that rustle around us like meteors
thoughts foraging through what they used to call

I regret to tell you that thoughts
no longer cease when we go there:
With no sleep (with no sleep!) thoughts cease to cease,
an endless flood of neutrino-powered thoughts
pass through the used-to-be,
round and round the now cirrus brain.

So there you go. That's dying.
You and me in a no-world
a mere casting about,
hanging there.
by lights
or stars
or the gods
Who refuse to please release us, until...

When we begin to hear in ourselves the cries of galaxies...

That's when
we accept
their offer
to return

--- ©1977, the Estate of Robert J. Fretwell

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