Upon finding that all of this is a big cosmic joke and the ending is just a John Cleese God walking across the stage rounding up applause

**I can’t claim full originality for this one — I think it’s inspired by the 1981 film Time Bandits

So this is the afterlife:
You see him enter and he doesn’t
Even notice you in the crowd
As he struts his stuff and grins
At the politicians and paparazzi
Shaking his hands and telling him,
“A fine job, good sir, mighty fine.
You really had them all worried for a while!”

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These Hands

I think it’s worth it to mention –
Before all your prejudgments settle in
And you cast me in plaster as a loose woman,
A slut, and shame me, a girl
Who just won’t get her morals together,
And then you bronze me, or
Tar me and then feather me,
And drag me through your streets,
Your sanctuary, your conversations with bae,
A pin-up girl, a poster-child for poor life decisions,
And deride me,

That I was in love, once, too.
Once twice, one hundred times, can we say? – people change,
And our love changes with them, doesn’t it?
I was in love, and he played with my fingers,
Whispered his love to me, kissed me
On the forehead, before and after,
And we stayed up laughing
Till dawn together, we held hands
And walked home from the pub in the rain together,
We danced in the kitchen to Beyoncé together,

And he was my first, but he was not
My last, because when he left, he didn’t look back,
And when he started over new,
Weeks later, before the feel of him
Had left my hands, I had to, too.
And my hands, my heart, went numb, and
All I’m doing is shaking them,
Trying to get feeling back into them.

But I don’t really know how, by myself.

The Earth Responds

Arise, now, dear one, and trust.
Stand on your feet just one more time, and see:
You are alone now with the world –
With the sparrow and her nest,
And the lambent glow of sunset
Trailing over the surface of the lake.
Here the worries of your companions
Cannot contain you any longer.

Breathe deeply, little child,
Let go the pain tightening across your chest.
Help will come now, soon.
See: the aged and aching earth
Spreads her arms out to you,
And she, though cracked and decaying,
Gives of her last breaths for you,
A nurse log promising to redeem you,
To die if she must to fill you,
To free you and bring you into life.