The Tower Journal

James R. Mack

Why We Love

In the place hereafter
where grim sickles harvest naught
and souls heap wants on ineffable mounds

One saw her pile lacking
and sought to toss love
to the jumble

So she reached
and compacted with a soul
but through the eons came to prefer another
and another
until the heap of souls buried any notion of commitment

Undaunted, she sought love of a different sort
the kind where souls
embrace that they might cling to a moment,
fearful that the next may never come

But knowing she would live eternal,
the moment brooked no urgency
no oxygen to fuel the flames of passion

At last she sought the love that calls to mind an onion
A gradual peeling of the layers
stench and tears be damned
until a mere core, untried by air, yet remains

But into eternity, what onion’s core would not rot?
What layers not dry
and callous over?
In the place hereafter, intimacy tethers itself to nothing

So this soul demanded an audience
with grim death;
she challenged him to bring love to his domain

But death dropped his sickle
and shot horse laughter through his throat.
So the soul journeyed back to her mound of wants
And on the way, the wind carried death’s horse message:
“Mortals love because they die,
thus souls can take no mate.”

Copyright © 2016 James R. Mack

James R. Mack writes poetry and short stories. His work has appeared in the literary journal Pilcrow & Dagger. James lives in Binghamton, NY and performs there regularly at open mic events.

The Tower Journal
Winter  2016