She looks good
Spiky hair, frosted,
The way it was between bouts
Of chemo. I call out to her
And we take seats in some cafe
Where we eat pastries and get caught up.
“How long can you stay?” I ask.
It’s good having her back
Talking, the way we used to in the office
When we’d sit at the lunch table
Stuff envelopes, complain about the boss.
She’s doing that now: complaining about her boss.
“In heaven? You have a boss there?” I ask.
She nods. I begin to wonder.
“You did make it to heaven, right — ”
She brushes the question aside.
“Heaven basically sucks,” she says.
She tells me she has a little house there, a job that almost pays the bills,
and lots of people to talk to.
“Then death is just like life,” I say.
I’m pleased to hear it. I want to keep doing this
Living thing. Sitting in my dining room, say,
Looking past a vase of yellow lillies
Out the window where a chipmunk scurries up a pine.
“Pretty much.” Cindy exhales the words like a mouthful of smoke,
“Except without your loved ones,” she adds.
“That part really does suck,” I agree.
I take a bite of my Danish. “You’re sure you’re in Heaven?”
I want to ask, but Cindy gets up. Her boss only gave her so much time off,
she needs to get back. That damn boss again!
Just like always.