Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

Still Life

by Judith Sornberger

Get an artist over here
to paint this image of eternity
that isn’t—snow reposing
in the eastern field
as if it had no memory
of any other home.

So much a single, settled thing,
glittering beast asleep
under the stars,
who’d believe it
once was multitudes—
an exodus of crystals,
each brief life drifting
through the sky to earth?

Like your perspective
on the afterlife—
an aggregate of souls
whose edges melt and merge.
Remember how we’d argue
over our martinis
(mine gin and yours vodka)?

I insisted on the soul’s integrity
and that I’d damn well
find you when I died.
Although now you know
the secrets hidden under snow,
your frozen lips aren’t telling.