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The After Life… with God


After Life with God – Jcagney

The other side of the white light is a stage light. 

God’s monologue subsides as the last breath

eases from my chest.  Relatives gone on before now sit

in audience cheering my entrance.  God’s

hair is a tsunami shadowing a beach, cresting over remarkable

brown eyes.  He’s in a tweed 70’s leisure suit & yes, he smokes

& listens with his body.  He’ll erupt in convulsive laughter, smoke

pulsing from his throat in volcanic exhaust, his chest giggling light.

On thick, yellowed fingers he counts off the remarkable

failures of my life—cold nights spent high & alone.  In hiccupping breath

chuckles: That was pretty dumb, huh?  Don’tcha think?  God

laughs at clips of me being clumsy, vulnerable, human.  I sit

& squirm watching memories projected like a scenes from a sit-

com.  The audience nods or stares in cool detachment as I smoke

blunts & kiss girls searching their bodies for the scent of boys.  God

laughs an aside, No—the burning bush was not cannabis and the light

of the applause sign gets the audience to laugh in one oceanic breath.

“To fail is to learn.  In pain lies instruction.  What is most remarkable

about life,” he says.  “Is that anyone survives it.  And what is remarkable

about you is patience and faith.  Despite what many believe, I don’t sit

in judgment.  Eternity’s too short.  Folks judge themselves.  In one breath

a prayer inhaled blossoms into a curse.  Your own hope dissolves in smoke.”

He hangs his head.  Now let this be my testimony: God weeps light.

Hard tears, glowing bright as lemons fall from the eyes of God.

That this man sniffling We’ll be right back, to an assumed camera, is God

a TV host, vulnerable, perfect in his imperfections, strikes me as remarkable.

On floating monitors, silent nature videos play for commercial breaks: light

shimmers on water in electric leaves, violets nod in rhythm to wind, the sun sits

as a crown on a hilltop fluorescent with flowers.  God pauses, inhales, & smoke

unfolds in a kaleidoscope of roses embroidered along his breath.

Do you have any questions for me?  He asks with coffee scented breath.

I wonder if he is bothered by people who do not believe in God.

I wonder about the afterlife earned by people who lived as slaves & did smoke

from hell’s ovens ever reach heaven or why people with remarkable

gifts are often so sad.  Do dinosaurs roam heaven?  Does he sit

among the elderly in silence?  I ask: What’s your best work?  He says, Sunlight.

God’s breath smells like emotions at a wedding.  He sits back

smoke hanging in air like wings and says: Wouldn’t you say so?

About sunlight?  So simple, weightless and remarkable…


I dedicated to my friend, Joanna Spencer.  May she rest in Peace.

Commentary on this is kinda moot– I’ve always idolized Tom Snyder and that God might host a talk show that the recently dead appear on to cover their lives amuses me greatly.  Guess that would make a good writing sample or a play.  Go to it.  I’m off to collect words for another sestina…

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