Not Even in the After Life – TheScreamOnline
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Not Even in the After Life

I always thought it would be him
my great love my cruel one
he with a luminous mind
body of a wingless dragonfly

rounded at the edges but
I thought dying would improve him
he’d be the radiant spirit
waiting for me on the other side

with his inaudible stutter
his invisible scars
growing up in the mean streets
small weak lying to survive

but I thought that improved by dying
he’d take me by the hand
we’d walk forever across the black
velvet of the infinite

its dazzling nada nada
once he was my brightest star
la estrella de mi vida
shining from on high

I thought like Dante and Beatrice
we’d stand on a ring of Saturn
his hair still mahogany
a Conquistador’s burning eyes

I thought that improved by death
he’d shimmer like a crystal butterfly
but instead this empty room
blank walls only he and I

and he doesn’t take me by the hand
only starts scolding me
for something so long ago
so small I don’t remember it at all

the fiery brilliance of his mind
pours into putting me down
not a touch not a kiss
he is carrying on and on

and will never stop
nowhere to go
the room has no door
there is no welcoming white light

so this is hell a small room
alone with my great love

Oriana Ivy was born in Poland, and came to this country when she was 17.  Her poems, essays, book reviews, and translations include Poetry, Ploughshares, Best American Poetry, Nimrod, Spoon River Review, The Iowa Review, Black Warrior Review, and many others. She’s the author of three prize-winning chapbooks: No Longer Mine (Sow’s Ear Press), April Snow (Finishing Line Press) and From a New World (Paper Nautilus). A former journalist and community college instructor, she leads the San Diego Poetry Salon. Her poetry-and-culture blog,, has gained an international audience.

Photo ©Richard Beban