Poem Ended by Death
They will wash all my kisses and fingerprints off you
and my tearstains–I was more inclined to weep
in those wild-garlicky days–and our happier stains,
thin scales of papery silk. . . Fuck that for a cheap
opener; and false, too–any such traces
you pumiced away yourself, those years ago
when you sent my letters back, in the week I married
that anecdotal ape. So start again. So:
They will remove the tubes and drips and dressings
which I censor from my dreams. They will, it is true,
wash you; and they will put you into a box.
After which whatever they do
won’t matter. This is my laconic style.
You praised it, as I praised your intricate pearled
embroideries; these links laced us together,
plain and purl across the ribs of the world . . .