From Myself On My Deathbed

Know that one day
you will kiss the palms
of both your hands
and lay them tenderly
upon the last moments
of your precious, beating heart
and you will know how entirely sacred
you have always been.

The world will be preparing
to fold itself up in you,
the sun that shines
from your eyes
preparing for its final set—
and it will no longer matter
what you kiss
but that there are no more right moments
to wait for the fullness of love
to jump blazing out of your heart.

You will no longer be discriminating
about what deserves your joy.
The fine line between you and God
will disappear
into the illusion it has always been
and every beauty “out there”
is now one with the universe
inside your chest.

All your old fears—those phantoms,
those phantoms!
that had you pretend
they were worthwhile,
that if you kept firm hold on them
you would never die—ha!
But all that matters now
is for them to become soluble
in your laughter.

There is no debt here.
No revenge.
No jealousies, would haves
or should haves.
And that old collection of your woes
will have quit its serious work
and wandered off.

Dear one, at the end
every once-was storm
becomes an intimate
and a dear friend is found
in every anguish
I now know every grieving place
in my heart was gushing springtime
returning life and color to the world
with its great willingness to feel again
There lives here a love
that is infinitely deep.

As you walk through your life
toward this place,
let wonder open her eyes through yours
like a newborn again and again
You are a divine gem
that life has smoothed itself on.

From this vantage point,
as your memory walks
once more
down the sacred aisle
of your life
you’ll come to see
every seemingly ordinary moment
was truly a chapel hall—
and you were always the bride.

Now to lift the veil
on this astonishing, ravishing love
that’s always been here,
that’s always been you!

This life is God’s wild gallery of love
that you are part of—
behold yourself!
And worry not, death is not real,
there is no end.
There’s an eternity of you
for the universe to discover.


by Chelan Harkin
Susceptible to Light