Denise Duhamel

The Things That Never Can Come Back

 

As Dickinson writes, Childhood—some forms of Hope—the Dead.
So religion, science, and comic books
do their best to make the loop, to see the seasons
as proof of something, that spring will follow

whatever obstacles religion, science, and comic books
find in their paths. We tell ourselves fairy tales
as proof of something, that spring will follow—
a poisoned comb and coffin can't stop Snow White

from her true path. We tell ourselves fairy tales
of immortality. The cross didn't stop Jesus.
A poisoned comb and coffin didn't stop Snow White.
Walt Disney was actually cremated, despite rumors

of immortality. The cross didn't stop Jesus,
according to some. According to the Cryonics Institute,
Walt Disney was cremated, despite rumors
that he was frozen. But almost 300 others,

according to their families and the Cryonics Institute,
have undergone cryopreservation, their brains
resting, "dead" and frozen. These 300 others
believed that one day resuscitation will be possible.

Having undergone accidental cryopreservation,
dead Captain America returned from the Arctic years later
and readers believed his resuscitation possible.
Alaskan wood frogs, Eastern box turtles,

and Captain America came alive after cold winters.
Florida iguanas freeze at just 40 degrees, and, like
Alaskan wood frogs and Eastern box turtles,
they come back to life when it warms up.

Florida iguanas freeze at just 40 degrees, and, like
children falling out of bed, they fall out of trees,
startled, coming back to life when it warms up.
Benjamin Franklin also wanted to come back to life—

like a child waking in bed, like a new tree leaf—
to see what his country would be like 100 years later.
Benjamin Franklin wanted to come back to life
though he thought men wicked, even with religion.

Maybe he worried what his country would be in 1890—
all wars, follies. He wrote better to Cast a Dye than fight.
And If Men are so wicked as we now see them with Religion
what would they be if without it?

All wars are follies. Better to Cast a Dye than fight—
but what about religious wars, the promise of glory?
What would soldiers be without it?
The dead are replaced with medals, headstones, parades

of an almost religious nature, the promise of glory.
Hope is a slogan, one we'll not soon fall for again.
The dead are replaced with medals, headstones,
and we look for our childhoods on eBay and YouTube.

Hope is a slogan, one we'll not soon fall for again.
The Millennium Seed Bank gathers up what is not yet extinct
as we look for our childhoods on eBay and YouTube.
Gone forever is the Golden Toad, Javan Tiger, Pyrenean Ibex.

The Millennium Seed Bank gathers up what is not yet extinct,
though we've already lost over 400 kinds of lettuce,
the Golden Toad and Javan Tiger. A Pyrenean Ibex
clone died from complications, despite "de-extinction" efforts.

Though we've already lost over 400 kinds of lettuce,
the Judean date palm came back after 2000 years.
Clones die from complications, despite "de-extinction" efforts,
but moss piglets seem to survive no matter what.

When the Judean date palm came back after 2000 years,
we wondered if death was just an ambulance to the future.
Moss piglets will survive no matter what—
environmental toxins, extreme temps, and radiation.

What if death is an ambulance to the future?
We do our best to see the seasons, but the future may be
environmental toxins, extreme temps, and radiation.
Some forms hold onto childhood, hold onto hope.