Monday, September 26, 2011


           Mourning at My Desk

my brother bought you
     (heedlessly, with sudden vague compassion)
because you were too old to be “so cute”.
     And with you
bought the silent sharer of your mute existence.
     And you were
incomprehensibly, brought here
as a compensation
for the still white body in the pen
     And the children fed you
as they chanced upon the thought

then, as heedlessly as you were bought,
the silent twin of your black duo died.
     And there you were.
     And there was I.

i fed you,
gave you drink.
     (we were, in our strange way, the same)
we lived a silent survival.
not from pity! did you find
existence in my hands
but from a shared realization
of helpless dependence.
arbitrarily, I chose.
     And you had life.

i was your physical breath
     And asked nothing:
no silent stillness
to touch your sleek fur
     (you asked, like me, no soft caress to live)

they gave you death
leaving you gasping
in the burn-dead heat of the sun.
you twisted
on the brown rug
     And slowly stiffened
until you became
an unnatural hard lump of flesh
brushed with satin fur

     (dead-dumb your eyes)
why should I care?
i who never owned you,
i but gave sustenance
     And suddenly became
your last touch.

i dug a hollow
in the rocky dirt
my eyes misted grey
     (i gave no tear)
my tears were the drops
of hot sweat on my back
as I broke through roots
     And crushed rocks.

i lifted your body

i had never touched a thing so dead before

i heaped the dirt upon you
     (your face was not covered, the earth touched it)
     And breathed a mourning chant
in rhythm to the shovel swing
for I am still alive

animal, I never called you mine.
why then, do I see
your glazed eyes transposed
over the piano keys
     (ever and ever there)
as I play the Pathetique?

(This was the only poem I ever spent much time revising. Obviously, not enough time. However, I will say that once you've seen a rabbit convulsing to death from heat stroke, it kinda sticks in your head. Especially the screaming.)

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