Beside the wood-framed doorways of Paradise
lay what we have left behind,
for our gatekeeper is ever vigilant, sorting soul from chaff,
"You cannot take it with you."
So tired hands put to rest the heavy things carried through cosmos,
shedding with ease what we never dreamed of escaping.
Hold, hold on to chariot, to rifle, you may choose indeed,
for none are made to enter an angel's fields,
but know this; you cannot take it with you.
For if you grasp tears of young, rage of old,
ankles and toes will bind tightly to the ground,
breaking striding wing-tipped soles.
To leave the slashes under my eyelids
embracing stratospheric canvas ceilings,
skywater heavens atop mountain high tent poles.
Sifting out man's hatred to brother
stacks once precious rubbish higher and higher.
Shouts of crowds spoken, not recognized for edges sharp,
invisible choices now visible giants,
are thrown atop unfinished novels and unspoken poems,
burned with the picket signs, magazine clippings,
ball-bearings filling homemade bombs,
lost votes cast within fraudulent elections.
And we breathe lighter, exhale Earth's revolving air,
raise our glasses, Prost! crashing waves of Paradise,
wash away a landfill, our piles at your doorway,
meet at your threshold, baptize us crossing,
make brides of all us newly made flyers.