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Beyond Life

By Jane Nguyen

what will I become now that you are gone?

will I wither away, to become nothing?

shall I be but mere birdsong in the morning,

an incessant, mindless chatter,

nothing but a passing sound?

or will I settle like dust upon a shelf,

left alone to gather along the spines of books.

crisp paper and blotted ink that will set our story in stone.

the remnants of a faded legacy

from which I have been stripped of flaw and substance.

a figure but not a person.

or I shall be smoke from a fire,

curling high and wafting away into clouds,

until I am unrecognizable,

another speck in the masses. will you be there?

is your soul up in the clouded abyss,

waiting for me to join you?

it would pain me

if you were gazing from your ghostly realm.

unable to touch the warmth upon my cheeks.

to forget how it felt for your chest

to rumble in mirth.

for your words to fall deaf upon my ears

when there was too much left unsaid.

if your soul has truly passed beyond,

I cannot lie to myself anymore

because it is felt in hollow aches,

in gray ash descending upon my halo.

you are alive in my dreams,

where you are vibrant and bright, solid and real.

I still feel the heat of your kiss,

and it will burn me raw

to imagine you are with me.

be with me.


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