I carry a burden of souls, a patchwork quilt of transmigration. They are cocooned in this body, this drop of amber crystallized in time, a cluster of embryos crying to be reborn, resolving fear, envy, lust, anger, grief.

So many emotions to unravel in this single lifetime and to reknit as a single, cohesive shroud that I will wear on my dying day, hopefully without regret. Shrouds have no pockets to horde treasure. Shrouds cover the eyes, muffle mouth and ears, silence the mouth. Shrouds wrap arms, leg, torso and head in easily decomposed muslin. They gentle the passage of the body into Earth, blending blood to oxide dust, tissue to rich, dark loam, bone to gravel.

Life returns to life, begets life. When my soul escapes like a sigh on the wind let it expand to embrace the universe, all that is seen and unseen. Let it become one with the dark energy that moves invisibly across the waters, subduing yet creating chaos.

If only I can untangle this Gordion Knot and quiet the clamor in my heart that drives me to grieve, to lust for all that slips through my fingers even as I fill them with light.

Published in Stories