Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Draft for a Fare-Thee-Well

As for me,
I would find a place
before my ashes kiss the dirt
to write,
nothing left unsaid

I don’t need to say.
Why not desire it all?
the flower, the flesh,
and that way savor the smell,
the silence, and begin to feel.

Near midnight, wind
blowing cold, the moon
overhead bright, my love
sleeping, and I am happy
beyond any man’s measure.

As for her, she will rise,
I will kiss and hold her through
the difficult passages:
all we were, are, and will ever be
now that we know what we need.

And there is our country
overtaken by the fools of day
and night, the people stripped
of all power, a slow, cruel way
of relentless pain, my country . . .

huge entities
judged the equal of each one
of us, no matter our worth,
the need to use the mind, arms,
and say it–love–to be free

to breathe the last word
and sleep with it like a bomb
ticking toward Resurrection City
if that be our lone hope.
Why despair

of our chance to seal
the border between life and death
though we know our limits
and attend to our lives
only to see in the mirror

the loathing of those so sure
they own this world
they band together in a circle
to share with us their stony gaze.
In a city of cemeteries

the calculus of night and day
is written in braille,
the better to reveal
how a dying wisdom prevails,
no matter its eventual fate.

(20 October 2010)

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