Friday, February 1, 2008

But Enough

"It is the last, the last forever. I shall feel very lonely…at first. But enough.”
(Henry James on the death of his sister Alice, 1892)

You think of death and dying differently today:
oh – still immutable and strange, this vertigo, this
sway, this reeling thing – but now its fragile specificities,
blunt consequences bring more delicate bewilderments:

something almost childlike – odder, kinder, lighter,
freer than you’d felt before – or maybe you had
always felt it – maybe it was all you knew embarking
on the endlessly ridiculous amazements which construed

the infant you: this, coupled with a new capacity, as if
your view of life had shrunk – intensified – to the microbial:
to neural flicks – a secret lens with quick and thrilling
access to synaptic zaps, meticulous intricacies of

the electric circuitry of the exacting human animal –
and its protracted journey towards an end: what end?
You can’t see past the atoms of the shifting blends,
the blinking tints and shades of purple, cream and brown:

the slickly interrupting intermingling mass: the intermeshed
establishment of balanced frail somatic grounding
pressure which amounts to sweating, crying, dying
flesh: what and who is this? You’ve somehow gotten

just as close as anyone could get to the abyss without
receiving what it might bestow: nose pressed up to
some dark glow – you almost catch a scent: and someday,
probably, will know exactly where your father, mother,

brother went and where you’ll go. Meanwhile a February
rain: whatever wakes up from its sleep remains.
(When content is too thick: serve it in quatrains.)
Fading blue through alabaster of your mother’s veins.


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