The Poem of Death

This is the poem of death.
There is only one
and no other.
Every one is an occasion,
one way or another,
and the last poem is this poem of death.
It is an occasion like no other.
I will no longer lope after elegance,
beauty’s body, or love’s wonder.
I will be sorry for everything
I was, and for everything I was not.
I speak to you as if you were my brother.
I will forgive everyone.
Death will make this possible.
There will be no other.
Death was in the mind
before thought or love,
in ourselves, and in our lovers.
The poem of death is speechless.
A companion will appear again
like another self, like your brother.
Enough now, enough has been said.
The spinning leaf will spin
like no other.

Michael Gessner, "The Poem of Death" from Selected Poems.  Copyright © 2016 by Michael Gessner.  Reprinted by permission of the author.
Source: Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press, 2016)
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