Wednesday, April 15, 2020

On Not Wanting It to Kill You Soon

When you love a god completely
you are prey to rabid bliss: bless’d
in that inordinately gratifying sense
of cruelty which haunts the root

of “bless” – to wound. Too soon
you’ll face the prospect of departure:
anyway, what seems departure
from the point of view of life:
that cliff of death you must imagine
from the scattered evidence will
sever you inevitably from the city’s
early Spring and its resistances
and grim delights; that battening
down hatches will eventually
snatch you from Manhattan must,
you have to think, be undergone.
Undertaking all the amplitudes of
this renowned dark town before
the undertaker takes his cue –
disposes of the residue of you –
is all you’ve got to do. Can you
say the thing outright? You crave
existence in Manhattan more
than photosynthesis craves light.
So will it kill you soon? You pray
to it to have some pity – put in a bid
to live beyond this coming May: go on
from here into the coming year to see
the seventh day of May in Twenty-
twenty-one. Can that be done?
To be alive to hear the reveille upon
the day that you’d be seventy?