"Poem About Heaven"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
March 1 2011 7:02 AM

"Poem About Heaven"

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear David Blair read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

.

I am such an impressionist.
My legs get cold,
my arms get cold,

weird thinking of my mom dying
in my old bedroom, now the den.

And kneeling is weird. The northern lights,
weird. Arcade lights. Wildwood, New Jersey,

weird, inside my eyelids. But I'm not thinking
of Poe again and the dance of colors.

I'm thinking of the hierarchy
that my mind wants Heaven to be.

Why else these figures
from a deck of cards,
kings and queens kneeling down to Jesus

in the neon shoreline,
tunnel of love, of horrors, boardwalk
attractions—
only these

are blissful religious figures. They kneel
because they are weak in the knees.

That feeling you get
when somebody is wearing a nightdress
by the freezer section in the supermarket,

you will drop through the bunting
thrown up on either side
of your wraparound porch.

I feel in love with a heart
that I picture blue and red
pumping an old planetarium light show.

I go back downstairs
to a house full of the voices
of all my family, my whole life,
sure, we are going there.

.

David Blair's first book, Ascension Days, was chosen by Thomas Lux for the Del Sol Poetry Prize. He teaches at the New England Institute of Art.

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