POEM II

The name on my ticket says “HALPERN JANELMISS”,
and I wonder whether in the afterlife,
during some gargantuan sorting of wheat and chaff,
I will be standing in a line,
clutching a piece of paper that identifies me as “JANELMISS”.
And somewhere behind me in line,
shifting your weight from foot to foot,
you hold a piece of paper proclaiming “ANSTETT CORYTMR”.
God would have a hell of a time sorting us out,
you and I,
because our papers will be all mixed up. The time I broke my ankle
will be the time you sprained your wrist,
and the time your sister lost her phone and did not contact the family for days
will be all raveled up with my dad’s weird, two-week disappearance to Seattle.
Our fights will appear like ink stains, soaked through a great stack of paper to leave faint outlines of each other
nearly the same but not,
a Rorschach test St. Peter will need two aspirin
and a great deal of patience
to unravel.
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