Jun 042015
When death's trumpet blows from the lily's horn
And grief's fingers knot wrinkles tight,
Bone-white on her breast and brow,
What praise can rise from the little church
Where dead fleets have landed her boxy prow
Under skies flashed black with finches?

After the altar the crowd splits like gun-smoke
Going each their own ways from death,
Grey trailings that pennant the morning breeze
Thrown back to life like cod half-choked.
--Life swerves, renews its fatal failings.
What lame praise can resurrect her ease?

Still, I'll speak in my pain's distraction.
Her I bury beneath the grave's waves
Sails off unseeing to houseless seas;
Still my dry, wry mouth seeks satisfaction
Whistling praises of her livelong days
Unblackened by finches and graves:

"Love was her meat, and love her bone.
Her animal self moved in love's groove;
With love she kept company, though soul-alone.
Such praise as I have I give to her who gave--
All her days destroyed and nights undone.
Love's house she built where now I grieve." 

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