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Door to Heaven
By Henri Whitehead

The door to Heaven is no pearly gate,
Where you can roll up in your Rolls Royce,
And snap two wrinkled white fingers
To summon the world-weary valet.
Who you constantly refer to as that Mexican Boy,
Even though he’s a proud Guatemalan,
And the sole provider for his family of five.

Neither is it a stainless steel turnstile,
Where some geriatric waits patiently
In an uncomfortable period costume
To tear Heaven’s paper ticket,
That you acquired at discounted price,
From your overweight coworker, Christine
Who, as luck would have it, owns a season pass.

Nor is it that sliding glass door,
That automatically opens for you,
At that supposed stepping-stone job
Where you’ve accidentally spent half your life,
A kingdom of pens and plastic cards, your magnus opus,
Built on a foundation of shredded paper
And empty promises to your kids and yourself.

I wish I could tell you it’s the stained-glass doors
That you enter every Sunday morning to pay penitence
For the weekly crime of living in the progressive past
That’s all about 30 foot walls between country and conscience.
But you don’t have to worry about listening, thinking, or acting.
Because you’ve already heard every preacher’s sales pitch,
And besides, your Facebook status already says you went.

Where is that elusive door to our undeserved eternity?
Why can’t it just be built with bricks, or paid with paper?
Here you and I are doomed to die while that damn door exists,
Mocking our wants, deeds, and selfish needs
Hiding in plain sight from the plague
The world should have eradicated,
But didn’t.

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