You ask what glories we have access to, being
"excluded from the beatific vision" as defined.
Best is the firmamentóbarred from heaven
but not the heavens, which open for us
like a colossal jewelry box. I wish I could
show you the odd-pitched graduated ladders
that lift us to great heights of star-gazery.
Up and down we traverse, birdlike in big-
sleeved scholar's gowns, tailored to trap
breezes and bear us up (we can climb
only half as far without them). To see
our billowing citizenry hung high amid
the heavens, some with telescopes, some with
maps and charts, others with sets of paint,
is to witness a form of rapture, one
in which no body need be left behind.
If not all astronomers, or amateurs at best,
we're all admirers who take our profoundest
pleasure in planets and comets, in moons
and meteor showers, in galactic treasures so
phenomenal I'm not permitted to describe them,
except to say, they're far beyond what satellites
or spaceships could offer, which is to say,
we're so much more than clothed and fed.
Letters from Limbo