Do not rest in peace, love.
Rest dancing at the top of a moonlit pyramid
and rest on the surface of the sun of your choice
and rest in a comfortable spot between the stars
and rest in the eye of your new favorite galaxy as it spins ‘round you.
Rest in uproarious laughter at one hundred remembered lifetimes’ foibles
and rest in the windowsills of your grandchildren’s bedrooms
and rest in the freedom from the everyday sins of ego and spite
and unacceptably long memory.
Rest yourself in my dreams where I can find you
and rest between the notes I sing
Rest in love so expansive, so jubilant,
a mere human body could never hold it all.
Do not rest in peace.
It was never your way to sit still.
About this poem: I have never liked the acronym “RIP.” I think it’s kind of lazy and common and Boot Hill-ish, and every time someone famous passes, Facebook is overrun with it. I know no one ever knows what to say at a time like that, but I think they should try to be real anyway, and come up with something…original? Using actual words? I don’t know…something better. Reasonable people can disagree on this one, but it just bugs me. Maybe because the idea of resting peacefully for eternity sounds pointless and boring as hell to me. What’s the point of having eternity at your disposal if you’re not having adventures on a cosmic scale? Resting in peace only puts me in mind of our bodies decaying in the ground. Why would I wish that on anyone? I don’t like to think of the people I love that way. I like to think of them alive and vibrant. I don’t know what happens after we die, but if I’m going to wish anything for those who’ve passed, I think peace is a given, and I’m going to wish for better than that.