We were young and aimless, spending a lot of time quietly walking and kissing in Union Cemetery. There were trees, birds, solitude, the sound of the Olentangy River to the north, and to the west the now-defunct movie theater where we spent so much time. I took ethereal photos of her in black and white along the mausoleum with her Brownie box camera.
We later discovered it could be used to take clumsy double exposures by not advancing the film.
It was a good place to talk and dream. Two things I always did too much of then. In that cemetery, it was only natural that our thoughts and conversation would eventually touch on the afterlife.
Thinking on death, we despaired of being separated.
So we made a compact between us, that whoever got to heaven first would wait at the gate to welcome the other so the late one would not have to be looking for the first.
It may be allowed. Who are we to say?
This earthly promise is written in stone.
Surely, contracts are honored there.
wait for me, my love
i beg you, wait
in the shade of that tree
just left of the gate
greet me there
with your embrace