illustration: Elena Caldera
There has to be an afterlife, since matter
Can neither be created nor destroyed.
So, fear not, you’ll continue. According to physics
Your future presence is definitely required.
Look, here’s an atom once breathed by Socrates;
There’s another breathed by Van Gogh.
Inhale deeply, you can morph into a Neanderthal.
Every second new afterlives are kicking off.
The physicist, Ilya Prigognine, believed that atoms
Make conscious decisions in a conscious existence,
Enabling the atomic thoughts in your head that are you
To enjoy an immortal persistence.
His theory means that the ‘now’ can go on forever,
And that its swirling thought forms may linger –
So essential distillations of our substance can be saved
From their falling victim to fate’s fickle finger.
Does all this conceal a road-bump for atheists?
Could it hide an inconvenient truth?
Do invisible parts of our being possess
Encrypted secrets of eternal youth?
When Vincent van Gogh was studying the Milky Way
With candles perched on his hat
He meditated on each billion-year-old shining dot
Spinning through the starry night.
He believed that the heavens were our future destination
And he declared, “we take death to reach a star.”
Now that there’s stardust in every single cell of our body
More mystery is added to knowing who we are.
But in bereavement it’s a very great comfort
To those who are feeling dispossessed
To consider that those they’ve known who’ve died
Have simply changed their cosmic address.