In Another Version of the Afterlife

I regret some of the aftermath but none of the choices I made
during my tenure among the living, which must be
what the villain feels after being villainous,
the adulteress and war criminal also;
matadors and pornographers must feel this, too, laid up at night,
groggy and unsleeping in ornate haciendas,
but in this version of the afterlife, we don’t bother with absolution,
and I come to understand remorse is a by-product of causality
which is an error in consciousness which is a glitch of perception,
and anyway we’re no longer conscious,
at least not in any way the living might imagine,
so I don’t miss much of living: neither bourbon nor orchards
nor season finales, not Venice or syntax and rain,
not sitting in bed eating some grapes with you
in the imperfect darkness of a city apartment.
I forget all this and forget all this until the self is no longer
like a dingbat alarm clock droning all day
from an open window on the other side of a wide courtyard,
its tinny heartache caught in the perpetual cacophony of waking.
Anyway, there are better things to attend to than waking and the self
in the quaint and cobbled Kentucky of the dead
where we don’t produce anything of much utility
and we weather the years without slumber and manage for ages
without water and all wear identical blazers and scarves
and everybody answers to the same name,
so one will tip a hat and ask, Roberta, how is it?
and another will snap a suspender and reply, Fine, Roberta. Just fine.