SENTENCES ON DYING
For my brothers wife, murdered by a heroin addict.
by Cork C. Kyle
Don't you get it? Life is escaping in
a smoky flame, running blindfolded
through the sublime
leaping for distant truths
hoarse and hacking
through the long-forgotten -
the botched breath.
It is elated by the future
the gone for good
the once we walked through a damp wood
and emerged ourselves
our mortal pots boiling over with verse
our dead wincing at oblivion
our beautiful secrets
from which we are estranged, and postpone
Our shoulders are leveled
without any malice or foreboding
almost as if death and life, in cahoots,
grind slowly through us
like flames burning through a building -
returning the prairie to grass.
Woman and man float in a landscape
of anomalous leaves
of impossibly green leaves
of leaves run through with vessels
sighing for what must come
what will come
what is certain.
And how it starts, how the engine catches
and the bush pushes out
and the feet drum against a taut earth
and every insect gone is an extinguished star
collapsing under its own gravity
and no harm shall come
and all shall come to pass
to be butchered under the apple tree
by thunderbolts of cornflowers
by insect liaisons
by the pearly croak of frogs
by immodest and unanswered prayers.
How no catastrophes will befall the garden
we've made of joy
And the tiniest wisp of green in
will be the green within which all greens
will be the green that is written
the green that is sighed
and held to the bosom of branches.
This place yet exists
the doddering geese
the hens teeth
the nowhere of granite
the sheer walls of devotion
the bottomless shaft of regret
Line up behind its stable themes
its torchlight of goodness
its dragons-breath of bewilderment
its rain-matted hair
its thrumming warmth.
Set out for this place
do not stop, do not waver
it is always before you, over the next hill
inside you, over the next heart
before you ever start.
the reverent breast
the singing heart
lest it love too much
Kill it that it might be
in the momentary eyes of mourners
in the postponement of enchantment
in the shelved angel
in the guileless wash of our failures.
The ghettoed heart corkscrews toward the future
supposing with the merest of vows
hanging from the monkey-bars of hope
wasting away in a hospital
beneath tents of pity
genteel and earth destroying
surging forth in the cicada's song
materializing at the end of the world.
Goodbye, this fabled life
this plundered ship
this gold-filled galleon, smashed.
May we find you in that wooded copse
that patch of God
that momentary blindness
that incautious love
that pulling apart of terracotta orange sunrises
wherein we will always look