On the Way to WorkRichard Soberpaintings

Are We There Yet?

Tell me, what is paradise like? Is paradise a transient hotel whose absentee landlords have absconded with everyone’s security deposits? Does the twilight traffic moving west along a street crowded with memories stop in anticipation of the messiah? For every act of deceit, betrayal, and bullyism is there salvation, redemption, and grace? Is paradise fragrant with the fulfillment of all fantasies, is admission free for orphans and misfits? Do people say, “I don’t know about the energetics of this place,” or “You can never be too bitter,” or “You can’t go home again,”? Does paradise look like Manhattan, New Orleans, New Mexico, a copper mine in Chile? A description in Dante? Can you eat there? Fly to Beirut? Is there pain in paradise? Joy? Sorrow? Do your sex organs get excited in paradise? Do supervisors get reprimanded? Does the working class get pie? Are we there yet? Tell me, in paradise what does fruit taste like? Do ladybugs hover on the rims of graves in late March? Do lovers argue on the sidewalks of paradise? Does the sun rise? Or ever set? Do rivers flow clean to the sea? Is the sewage line backed up from another world? Are names lost in the wilderness of another light? Is the check in the mail? Are the cookies still in aisle #8? Is oil in the pipeline? Are there dreams? Do people who’ve blown themselves up reconstitute themselves? Does anyone ask questions in paradise?

RS 2008