THE BORROWED VESSEL

A dying atheist’s prayer….

“I am a man alone in the cosmos”.

But there is no suffering in me

True there is no place to go

No bearded One

Or fantasy of redemption

But I rest serene

In a state of knowing

That this suit of carbon atoms, a perfect fit

Was used before–in a rock, a plant, a T. Rex perhaps

It is a borrowed vessel

Spewed forth from the dying supernova

The literal star dust that illuminates me

Those atoms of carbon that became me

Are themselves immortal

And that is enough

And so I sparkle

With the soul of billions of carbon beings

Each with their own consciousness

I am illuminated

My password is gratitude

My deepest silent knowing

That borrowing means

You have to give it back

What was never mine to own

An honor to recycle

Can you return a suit that has been worn?

In this story there is no other kind

S.E. Hodes

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