‘I will experience what very few ever do in this world: life after death.’
Letter from Talha Ahsan, Northern Correctional Institution, Connecticut, 28 May 2014
To experience life after death
is to hold your face up to rain,
each drop soft-sharp, soul-piercing.
To breathe in air vibrant with fumes
and sweat and spice, the dancing particles
of adjacent lives.
To walk in unbounded space
along streets and lanes,
through parks, across commons.
To walk until your feet bleed
and your ears shimmer with every
newly-heard city sound.
To lie on a bench and feast
on London’s heavenly sky.
To sleep again on sheets
washed by maternal hands,
smoothed tight against nightmare.
In your own time tell
how it was
how it is
in your own words
in your own