Next Life

This entry is part 1 of 22 in the series Alternate Histories


The skull whose name was smoke spoke
worm words. Its missing teeth hissed
from the gizzard of an owl.
How odd, I thought, to be a skull
& haunt a body from within!
The air smelled of rotting
leaves; it was October.
Icy feathers began to form
on the edges of grass blades—
the only kind of next life
that made sense to me, stoned as I was.
My gut gurgled polyphonically.
I considered fear as if from a great height.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. Suitable for an early Halloween piece! Been reading about human sacrifice by the Aztecs?


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