Dead People

Their reward is
they become innocent again

and when they reappear in memory
death has completely erased
the blurs, and given them boundaries.  They rise

& move through their new world with clean,
clear edges.  A man I knew–a very troubled man
who died a very troubled way–in particular has become
buoyant, unattached finally from

his histories, from the trappings of a story,
from the trappings of his drugs
and he waltzes again through the world
with firmly defined edges
in the way only dead people
and babies can do.
Sometimes I think I see his unkempt goatee
in a crowd of people and I catch my breath.

I think they all walk among us–
not literally but somehow–
wearing graduation gowns and mortarboards
breathing the air incredibly deep like drowning people
and repeating three things over and over:
‘Again’, ‘Again’, and ‘Again’.

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