Dark Flight of the Soul
by Gary Knowlden
Destination death in a sealed envelope of biology: blood coursing through the branches, venous twigs to wisps of capillaries. Lymphatic tissue hangs like clinging leaves in fall.
Caged by life the soul takes wing to gall. Above the rivers of vital fluids, it catches thermals over pooling wastes. Wings beat to some internal pump, soaring past landscapes of organs, tissues, cells, and plasma tides. At critical altitude, grabbing perch on the mother ship of life’s insolent interpreter.
From soul’s beak a stick pokes at the folds kindling nervous energy; yet neurons know only their own. Senses expand but define for the collective a reckoning of its known universe. The soul sees the vat while the brain inputs ponderous worlds.
The animation is brief. Ensnared in the tree of life, death looms in bird sense. Leaves fall, branches break, and somewhere a root is rotting. What may seem like millennia to a crow is hardly time to a soul. Death may be sinister or patient, accidental or Darwinian. The bitter juices may wear a rust hole in the vat, or simian thinking may ignite a fantasia ending.
As a life evolves from maniacal growth to descending wreckage; the soul is in flight to the same physics: lift, glide, flap, drag. The universe expands, contracts, and stifles toward singularity.
Suddenly the cage door swings wide. From troll to triumph; Death liberates the soul to infinite sky.