The Beforelife – by Aden Thomas

Someday you’ll find yourself alone
squinting at dusk into the sun.
Maybe I’m alive, maybe dead,
maybe you’ll think of me as your father.
To the moment it won’t matter.
Like an ellipse, the fear will come, a question,
why I left the dream you carried,
lost beyond and lost along the way,
and why I stayed in that land of ghosts
shedding myself, haunting you from a distance.
There will be no answer on the heated wind
even against the backdrop of fields of sunflowers,
just the sky, an upcountry, turning itself empty
and the dark birds, shadowed against crimson,
searching the world for their silent homes.
You’ll want to believe then in a beforelife,
where any story could be made true by telling.
Who would know but us, the phantoms?
Tell them I was your father,
that I stared and started back.


Aden Thomas grew up on the high plains of central Wyoming. His work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including The Inflectionist Review and Rust + Moth. His first book of poems, entitled What Those Light Years Carry, was published earlier this year by Kelsay Books. More at: