Yes, it’s true — those who survive have harrowing
stories to tell, but what about those who didn’t,
are their stories obliterated from the record,
like the amazing dreams from which we awaken,
those which vanish immediately, like morning mists
pierced and dispersed by the flood of sunny daylight?
Perhaps the non-survivors are relaxing around
a far campfire — some mellow hang drum music
tinkles in the background, a rosy sky turns overhead,
dotted with planets of the freshly bewildered dead,
and then as if on cue someone softly begins to speak.
Although they no longer possess a physical body,
they clear their throat anyway, then offer their story
to the assembled campers, and everyone leans close.
Although they are invisible to all but the occupants,
there are windows which open so that the ones inside
can record these stories, the tales of the fire sitters.
We cannot say for sure, but there may be one gazing
through their open window at us right now, carefully
documenting the movements we perform in our dream.
Our various mental creations seems so absorbing to us
that we don’t notice the slight echo of our transactions
as we go blithely about our business like an immortal
whose story seems to never end, though it someday will.
When we hear our own voice played back to us,
it doesn’t even sound like us — who is that?
Just so, when we watch our own recorded story
on the big screen, we might gaze a bit sheepishly
around the campfire, but everyone else understands,
they’ve been right where we are sitting, and in a way,
a way which is hard for the listener to comprehend
unless they’ve also not survived, our story is theirs too.