for adrian solomon

You Can Choose Your Afterlife
Eric Gamalinda

according to the strange customs
of the T’boli
who believe we are not judged

by good or evil
but by the kind of death
we meet: to die by the sword

is to enter the kingdom
where everything
even the sound of water

is red They welcome you there
with the tintinnabulation
of copper bells

and the lamentation
of bamboo violins
and all night long

a wounded sun hovers
over your place of business
And those who drown

return to the navel of the sea
(that’s what they call it)
where they become subjects

of Fon Muhin, god
of all creatures
who breathe water And those

who die of sickness
go to Mogul
where they receive everything

they’ve always desired
but are not free of suffering
And those who kill themselves

go to a place exactly like earth
but where everything sways
even in sleep

Arne you didn’t tell us
why you wanted
to go

we can only imagine you
in a world where
you can’t keep a cup

of coffee still
and people keep changing
the rules for soccer

because the ball
keeps rolling away
You won’t miss us

everything moves in the same
direction You were always
one step ahead


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