With great flourish, put a spirit in a body, put
the body in a box, put the box deep in the earth
or into a fire -- this sounds just like a magic trick,
with all the glib, distracting patter (cadaver
palaver) along the way ("Dearly Beloved...",
"So sorry for your loss...", "We'll always
remember...", "...into a better world"),
But at the end -- WHERE'S THE "PRESTO!"?
When do we get to see the box opened,
the out-rush of white doves and red roses, no
body there -- what have you done with our
But, LO! Here he is, in your own breast pocket!...
and here (nothing up my sleeve) -- here he is again!
He's been hiding behind your ear all along!
But no one says "Presto!" No magician appears,
so, knowing the show can't be over yet,
we feel compelled to invent conclusions:
The empty tomb, a heaven full of dove-like angels,
heaps of wreathed flowers -- but the real trick
is so much simpler: He was never in that body
in the first place. And you and I are not
on this page.