How does bliss get in there?
You taught the school ballet,
made them leap over soldiers,
dream of green and black swans.
You fought moods with hope,
who put down its red gloves
when opponents ate your insides.
I asked, How does happiness
sprinkle what its supposed to
when microwave ovens, i-pods,
and Jesus can’t help her out?
You instructed the hospital in dying,
which had never perfected
non-breathing quite so well.
Hello, ghost, I responded
when you dropped life in a bin
on your way out coroner doors.
Funerals can be exasperating.
I know how you escaped.
That coffin is an empty acorn.
You grow your meat in the sky
where everyone sees a mirage
instead of the you that’s still here.

Donald Illich has published work in LIT, Passages North, Nimrod, The South Carolina Review, and several other journals. He was a finalist for the Washington Book Prize. He lives in Rockville, Maryland.

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