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End of Lifed

The angels, those constant followers, stay dumb to metaphors, deafer to jokes. Outside firm circles, however, the idea of decay as a transitional state meets with uncommon success. Props and shout-outs to the flesh, the flesh, and the flesh for keeping caps on myth-proliferation, though experts trouble to isolate origins, what wags what. Planets, Virgins, Eternal Recurrence: done it, done it, doing it. And The Bosom of Abraham: don’t get me started. The same assholes who bully us here will bully us there, in much tighter quarters, and management will, predictably, console us with loopholes and pleas for patience. Maybe some species of bliss—let’s hope we can dream—can be found in that queer and crowded place, but where neither release nor hygiene nor the world wide web are guaranteed, there can be no rest. As we speak, exegetes elsewhere defend that extratextual innovation but number-one-requested feature, a front-gate greeting with St. Peter (tunnel of light, no charge) within minutes of the last onset’s end. I am like you: just give me my goddam wings.

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John Estes directs the Creative Writing Program at Malone University in Canton, Ohio. He is the author of Kingdom Come (C&R Press, 2011) and two chapbooks: Breakfast with Blake at the Laocoön (Finishing Line Press, 2007) and Swerve (Poetry Society of America, 2009), which won a National Chapbook Fellowship.

This poem originally appeared in Ginosko #13

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Brett Foster has published two poetry collections, The Garbage Eater (Triquarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2011) and Fall Run Road, which was awarded Finishing Line Press's 2011 Open Chapbook Prize. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, IMAGE, Kenyon Review, Pleiades, Poetry Daily, Raritan, Shenandoah, Southwest Review, Subtropics, and Yale Review. He teaches Renaissance literature and creative writing at Wheaton College.

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  • Warren Falcon via Facebook November 16, 2013, 2:18 pm

    BOOM! got it said and marvelously so! Sharing this here on the good dirty earth.

  • Lisa A. Flowers via Facebook November 18, 2013, 3:32 pm

    Bravo/yes.

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