She replied, “I wonder sometimes about that last breath,
will it pain? Will it bring peace? or will we be unaware?
I do wonder.” Her thoughts incorporate a stare,
A swelling vision of what must come of what is left
Of time amongst a thousand nursery rhythms, inadvertent theft
In recitation of “Now I lay me down to sleep,” a certain flare
From the bridge that binds its victim
Alone to any other soul, bereft
Of substance, comfortless in wrenching prolixity
Of what to the emperor were too many notes;
To posterity a masterpiece in some historical
Reference made in passing at the lectern–a rhetorical
Question perhaps on a Wednesday afternoon–an entity
That has no purpose, expecting no answer to what she wrote.
Of course I wrote a thousand words in recompense
To that dark lady scattered through legions
Of tomes of literary justice far below what Dickens
Might have hoped were words of solace for the whitest chickens
There beside that ridiculous wheelbarrow on which Williams rent
Himself in twain to measure a leased infallibility in season within reason.