In the gardens perched on the sky, the ones where snakes sing lullabies, I met a man who spoke to me, a dead man hanging from a tree.
He craned his neck and whispered this: "Perfection is the great abyss. Leave now lest you share my fate, A ghost dangling at heaven's gate."
Why should I fear paradise? I lived free of mortal vice. So I trudged on past the sycamores and stood before the pearly doors.
Through the bars I saw the fields: the stars mere cogs in ox cart wheels, the earth a pebble in a stream, but not one human to be seen.
Undeterred, I gripped the latch. I pulled, but it came unattached. Despite my rage, the gates stood firm, then grew so hot I smelled flesh burn.
I ran back injured to the groves and washed my wounds in waterfalls. As I bathed I heard the groans of voices wrapped in funeral pall.
Count leaves dangling from a branch, thus numbered bodies overhead: Specters moaning for another chance to escape the orchard of the dead.
An empty noose caressed my neck the way my first love had. A soothing feeling on my neck to forget the good and bad.
To forget the ones who hurt you, to forget the ones you hurt, to forget the hate all men accrue when their feet still touch the dirt.
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