Your hands are vapor now
Borne on the back of the air like scarves
Trailing from the manes of lions
Circus sounds distant, tarnished, like knives
Half-buried in dank, rotting straw;
Clouds pass over, hurried death birds
Come to reap, to work under the moon.
Your hands are hovering
Unreal sonatas steaming from the
Piano keyboard and burning
Away when they touch the sunbeams
That break and enter this parlor.
Stuffed birds, feathers glistening wet
As if alive in flight
In a rainstorm before our eyes.
Your voice is wandering
Deprived of real life but not of thought.
Overwhelming in its beauty
As are the faces that bring tears
To the once-blind eyes of a healed man.
Awe was never an adequate response
To your now disengaged power in words.
Your heart is beating still
Life support in the lines of ancient,
Sighing ink; its parchment its deathbed,
Awaiting the heaven of those
Oblivious future children
Who never knew you could have died.
The words that fall from your lips one last time
Will be an era's obituary.
Of all the tortuous ways to leave us
Why did you have to torture us with
The one human immortality?