Here’s What They Don’t Tell You About Heaven

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It turns out heaven is a two-bedroom apartment
off the corner of North 4th and Nottingham, your body
the Garden of Eden
so many years after we bit that damn apple
to its core.

On the first day of the afterlife, the city freezes over
Time nosedives backwards
The temperature of your skin rises high enough to scald a hole
straight through heaven’s gate and we escape
into the purgatory of our mistakes.

What they fail to tell you about heaven,
in every children’s fable, is that it requires some maintenance

A fixer-upper, if you will. The tap still gets leaky in the afterlife,
eyes still wander,
we’re still left holding onto
A couple of sins from past lives.

The truth about Heaven’s clientele is that it’s mostly made up of hapless wanderers
who made a wrong turn along the way to Never-Never land,
Still searching
For the city of their dreams;

A place
where nothing ever dies
where time stands still
where sin is a rampantly available commodity, and nobody
has to pay taxes
on the eternity they have cashed in.

The truth about heaven is that we had it
clutched between our fingers for so long
that it began to ache like hell

that it began to bleed us empty
that it began to look a whole lot more appealing to burn
than it did to remortgage it all.

The thing they don’t tell you about hell
is that it’s nothing more than the right decision
realized a moment too late

And heaven
is just the land of second-chances
that we never got. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Read Heidi Priebe’s new poetry collection, The First New Universe.


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