What the living don't realize, is that
death is not at all like falling asleep,
Death is waking up.
Once I was a grain of sand
shuffling about in an ocean current,
swallowed by a fish.
I opened my eyes and I was a dragonfly,
hard shell glistening in the warm summer air
red and purple thorax trailing behind my
laying down when my season was done,
a gem colored leaf sailing to the ground.
I opened my eyes and I was a gazelle;
long, lean legs carrying me quickly
across the Savannah,
Bowing my head and giving my body
so that another's might last a little longer.
I opened my eyes and I was a human girl
who grew quickly into a human woman,
whose life was so vast it could fill
the pages of a storybook twice over,
whose body was ready for sleep before her mind.
I woke standing in a room without walls,
without a ceiling. Above me there spanned
an endless sky, a shade so brilliant
there is no word for it, at least not in any of
the tongues I have ever worn.
Behind me there trailed a line of beings,
all chattering, all saying the
same sorts of things, things such as:
"I opened my eyes and I was a kernel of corn"
"I opened my eyes and I was a honeybee"
"I opened my eyes and I was an elephant"
In the distance stood two massive trees,
with entertwined limbs that stretched
towards the heavens.
On one, leaves made of emeralds graced each branch,
on the other, pearls glistened quietly.
In the place where the two met was a door.
Creatures approached the archway;
some walked through,
others were not granted passage and surely
opened their eyes to find themselves elsewhere,
perhaps as a butterfly.
When at last I was at the door
a being appeared before me with
Starlight seeping from every pore,
consuming my vision until I could see
nothing else. They spoke with a voice like rain;
"Ah, you were a dragonfly! What was it like?
In none of my other lives did I ever fly."
Burning hands pressed against my back,
I passed through the door;
I woke and I was light.