By Which I Die

February 3, 2011
"Its empty being on thy self relies;
Step thou aside, and the frail charmer dies."

How long I waited! As though you might
come crawling out of your watery grave
like some Lazarus, in possession
once more of your flesh: every pound
you wouldn't trade for a king's coffers.

Instead I stand by your riverworn tombstones
counting the narcissus blossoms that search for themselves
in the depths. Trailing fingers
in the icy currents, I am Tantalos – the fruits
of his laboring folly dangling before his eyes –
reflected in the water – twice over they hang!

I can feel the noose on my neck
like your fingers.

I would be sorry
if you weren't the one calling for me
to slide out from the darkness like one
resurrected –

you, throwing coins into my eyes one
at a time, flashes of metal-spun light
that cost you a second
but buy me no time. If you weren't the one
taking up a knife to carve out
the weight I can't give you –

and there with the ripened fruits of the mistakes
we cannot forgive hanging twice over (once
for each our heads), you count
the narcissus blossoms that weep for themselves
over your silent grave:

a tomb that no amount of flooding would bury –
that no amount of waiting would free –

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This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

Apeggy said...
Feb. 17, 2011 at 5:52 pm
I really love this poem,it's very deep and dark. Read my poem if you'd like! It would be greatly apprecialted.
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