Near Death Experience
This might be heaven.
Above, someone is holding
hands with an astronaut, light years
among the space junk (exploded satellites and bits
of spent rockets, wrenches dropped
by the space-walkers). Schoolchildren track
the debris cloud from earth.
The risen say that their souls
fly to the ceiling where they see, for the first time,
their own beauty. I don’t believe they leave their bodies
so much as travel to a place from which
they can be rescued.
Don’t they all come back?
And the astronaut waking from gravity’s dream,
he too cries out.
To know finally
that all astronauts die.
In his dream, the astronaut shows his daughter
how water stays
pressed against the bottom of an orbiting pail.
Until his arm tires. Then he opens his eyes
just in time
to fire his ship’s thrusters. Breaks free
from what we used to call heaven.