The Eyes of Death*

For my father.

So that you wouldn't die so undignified,
I wanted to force a black rose
down your throat, so
                    that the thorns
would pierce your larynx
                            & silence
the animal noises;

a language
capable of expressing
only pain & existence,
            both
belonging to you alone.

Your cells were in rebellion:

First, they conquered your lungs,
before taking your liver
                        & then,
traversing your spine,
they laid siege to your brain:

dead pixels in your irises,
made me
think of machinery, but
technology
            doesn't feel pain.

Hours dragged past like sandpaper against glass.

I held your hand, sat by the bedside as
                                        you died,
until suddenly, what remained of you
sat upright
& pulled me close enough to hear
your last words…

& that's when I saw it, in the final moment
of your lucidity:

            the eyes of death

            staring back at me.

*The Eyes of Death – Off With Their Heads

Die, & be forgotten…

“This place is a dream.
Only a sleeper considers it real.”
– Rumi

Soon enough every cell in us
will cease to repeat the pattern,
        & we will die

& be forgotten.

So focus on each breath as
our chests repeat the movement
        of our heartbeat;

in & out,
        up & down,
            until we’ve found

the place where presence elides into absence &
from something to nothing,
we return again
        to where all things
            begin…

The future is composed of consequence
not yet made manifest
& the past
        is the mess
            it left behind.

Diaphanous & thin,
the boundary between
    mind & brain; something &
        nothing;
            life &

                death.

Mourning & Modern Knowledge

Permutations of motion though matter;
the ecstatic union of void & fire;
    mutation arrayed
        in differential display:

                                is this
use of language the only way
for the feeling to fade
        & finally escape
from my bones?

Can't I ever
go beyond what is here in front of me
& reach the place
        I want to be?

No.

Escaping the maze
is not an option,
so I remain trapped
in oxymoronic structures;
the point
where concept concedes to content;
    when precision
                  & all measurement
reach their limitation,
but grammar still remains needed
for practical reasons.

Without language there is
no way to express
this sense
of frustration & unease
        echoing through me,
as I witness
                unbounded expansions
ripple & sway
when thrown stones

disturb the surface of a lake,
reverberate
    in brief undulations,
        & sink
            slowly
until they can be seen
no longer:

nothing ever
disappears completely…

but you're too far away
for me to care.

Even if absences linger within
                every presence,
there's nothing comforting
in that knowledge:

what remains of the lost
    
is not enough.