Thursday, November 6, 2008

Extremely Secret, Intimate

The several people over time whom
I have carefully watched dying seemed,
at least in bed, to have coursed gently
to the end, which lent my thinking,
blinking eye a sense of gradual abstracted
involution, as if one-by-one the bits of them
had started slowly and implosively to spin
around the outermost thin gaseous rim
of some extremely secret, intimate

black hole which would eventually draw
them in: the agitated surfaces from
which we claim to name identity seem
to exert the least resilience of the lot:
a person’s idiosyncratic urgent
have-to-have’s have either all been got,
forgot, or dropped quite mindlessly on
some unnoticed spot. Biology takes over:
like a cat, the dying I have witnessed

seem somatically to know it won’t be

long now and retreat into the dark – perhaps
for dignity. A last benignity of evolution
gives the flip side to the violence of taking
one’s first breath, to death: rolls out
a prairie of comparative serenity as
blessing for the grand audacity of having
managed to sustain a life at all.
But all of this, of course, is folderol.


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