What Afterlife

by Keetje Kuipers
Kuipers. Beautiful in the Mouth. What Afterlife
Twilight might be called a gray scarf pulled over your lover's eyes. And the bicyclist's body cutting swiftly through it is a beautifully composed semaphore, like the shape meaning makes in a set of signal lights at the end of a darkening runway: two orange sticks crossed, then waving, motioning inward. I should be telling you about fireflies, the containment of light, how we work to bring it closer to us, into our bodies, into a glass jar with a screw-on lid where it can shine and reverberate in the ever-thinning air. Instead I think of my fifth summer, the day I lost one shoe over the side of a sailboat, its sinking away from me into the untreadable dark. The soul is composed of infinite planets sucked into black holes and what comes out the other side— light or its golden shadow—is each our own. Like those fishing boats that ride out to the world's curve each evening, their string of bobbing lamps nothing more than an infirm constellation pinned to your child's ceiling.