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By Najila Yahu

When you die

do you at first

go down with the body?

or up with the soul?

Like wells swallowed up

by the angry earth, sinkholes

taking in whole houses. Sucked

like into quicksand. Smothering

weight of liquid sand

interlacing your ribs

inside crushing depths

tightening your throat

until the sand in your mouth

grind against teeth.

Or is it like the tiny sparrow

soaring in delight?

Like the smoke that rises

from funeral pyres,

unshackled from gravity

and notions of can’t--

precipitates of worldliness,

eyes judging or tongues

striking. No more

fluttering hearts,

Where does the mind bind

with the body?

At the heart where

it butterflies as matter hinging on

to spirit? Or in the head,

like paper doll chains with fragile links?

We inhabit space twice.

A blur animating the form

stopping ever so promptly

at the fingertips,

cleaving between the toes.

By Najila Yahu

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