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Verse XIV

I humbly lift my hand up from the couch where I sit
and you take my hand and
you tell me that you’ve always been there and
you guide me to the door and
you open the door and
you tell me that I have to walk through it myself and
I walk through it myself and
suddenly I’m alive again and
I’m sitting there on the couch,
and my friends are all looking at me and
I tell them that I’m alive and
I ask them where have I been for the past three hours
and they tell me that I have been comatose
and I tell them nothing
for I have been to hell and back
and hell can exist in a Greatful Dead drum solo just
as much as heaven can exist in a loaf of bread,
so I shower
and I smoke a bidi cigarette
and I watch the sun come up
and I marvel at the view from the balcony
of their dorm room apartment
and I look out across Fredericksburg
and I think to myself, thank you god,
thank you for not giving up on me,
thank you for lifting me up off of that floor,
thank you for giving me life again,
and thank you for giving me such wonderful friends,
for I would be weak without them and
dead without you, and he smiles and
his smile fills the heavens with
the light of the morning sun
as it lights the sky of Florida on fire
as me and my friend Josh drive south to Orlando
speeding on caffeine and pseudoephadrine,
speeding past whore houses disguised as strip bars and
frozen alligators lying dead on the side of the road
with their legs frozen in unnatural positions and
I swore that I saw Chewbacca walking along I_95
that cold January night as we crossed over the border into the year 2000
and feeling that warm southern sun upon my back
I walked up and down the beach
knowing that I loved him
and that he loved me
and that I loved all the women that I met
and that I didn’t need to take bong hits
with the Phish heads that I had met
who sung sweet words of the Phish show
on the reservation that new years, where
they played for 7 hours strait and
I drove for 7 hours strait on the way back
until my card died in a cloud of steam and parts and
I stumbled as I walked for
the smell was like a thousand dead hogs
who had died in their own feces
and I nearly retched twice
and the woman at the gas station was ugly
but nice
, for she let me sit
looking like a vagabond in her store
to warm myself while I waited
for the tow truck driver to pick me
and my dead car up,
and to tell me that my car was dead
and I gave him oranges
and he drove me to the greyhound bus station
where I met ex-convicts turned
clerks in a southern bus station
and nice old black women
who were wise beyond their years
and I caught a bus to Richmond
and from Richmond to Springfield
where my mom would pick me up
and while on the bus I met a girl
who went to Mary Washington College,
the college in Fredericksburg,
the college where the dorm was
that I found hell in a Greatful dead song
and where I looked out from
and saw god
and there upon that bus I saw her to be a goddess
and I wanted to worship her
but like Diana the huntress, she left for the forests
and I have never seen her again
but stumbling back to my home
I found depression and devil worship
and blackness of the soul
and downtrodden my own spirit
and sold my soul for what I knew not
but my good friend Christian bought it back for $128
and some change, and I thanked her for it
and my good friend Gary and Tim
reminded me that God had saved me from myself
and that all I had to do was raise my hand up
and grab his and lift myself up
off of that couch and together we walked out of that room
and onto the pages of this paper,
this electronic paper,
these electronic word viruses
that spring forth from sparks sent from Walt Whitman’s brain,
a glorious brain,
a brain who is still alive in the words that I now write,
and I am alive in his words
and together we live in the mind of god
and our bodies are of the bodies of god

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