No breath left to dissemble


Now I must stray
from appearance or action,
              because there will not be another image of him
              to superimpose upon the rest and sum over histories

 to derive an unwavering
awareness of the person
              inside him. I must now, on my own, perform the re-
              construction while he still blows on the hair

on her neck though
the pursuit is long-
              forgotten and he dead afresh
              has no breath left to dissemble.

He abused
his talent, or,
              misused is more potent a word
              for his use of that naïve ability to reinvent

or be swayed such that
beginnings happened
              everywhere and always for him,
              happened as each flees her own enemy. . .

Despairing of his own
inner construction
              he prolonged himself, not so skilled in self
              -destruction, feeding sterilem, futile, amorem,

love with his own
destruction or hope, sperando,
              nutrit. What patina of desire (of care)
              so often unpolished her skin

that skin morphed
into bark
              with arresting varnish, while she stood
              wounded and rooted to the earth,

and she unmoving,
became the pivot
              about which unreason willed the act of turning,
              dependence made mechanical and fixed,

reflexive even. I am
left to wonder
              will her foliage survive with his death
              or will it fade along with the calculated forms

on his forearms—
artistry, or, willingness—
              perhaps his lyric or quivers (in death)
              habebunt, will have, her still. If not,

perhaps in death
he might
              render her in alabaster not laurel
              with sharper touch and blunter brambles

and perhaps then will I mourn.