She’s Dead and Is

Tragedy rarely gives a heads-up
which is why it’s not so scary to run with scissors, 
it’s getting too near the edge that equals dread.
and she, like a lemming magnetized to cliffs,
loving that tenuous moment 
encouraged stillness to encounter chance.

She confessed
“it brings me closer to the sublime
and resolves most mysteries”. 
As proof she shared that
“elephants speak below the hearing of humans”
and swears
they told her that the universe pivots 
on dual confessions - 
  • one confirms that love is blind,
  • another always says yes to letting your light go out.

She mutters and repeats and mutters
these invocations like a monk intent on sainthood 
with a whispered benediction 
“to just feel it.” 
“To be like purloined moonlight giving texture to the dark.”

She offers thanks and gives instruction
saying an ending must have the strategy
to nod like you’re in the know
with what the voices of angels intone
as they, like elephants, vocalize low.

She waits 
for memories and 
feelings and
questions to come,
staying chaste
like acolytes on Sunday morning cruising the aisles, 
spreading incense to mask the stink of death,
an aromatic diversion inviting faith,
the kind that comes without
guarantee of reward.

Hers was a life that struggled 
to live the lessons learned
that love has no human face
and hers is that of a stranger.

So now no more attempts to flee
that tenuous moment 
when stillness embraces chance 
and romance accommodates apocalypse.

She’s dead and is still remembered
like a thousand Roman years 
of empire in decline
love can imitate Byzantium.

—Ed Sanctious

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