Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Duty of Lovers*

What is the duty of lovers
when faced with reports of death
suicide and worse

How do you comfort the mother
whose soldier son succumbed
to a mortar blast
while on the phone with Dad

What liturgy makes sense
to one who knows no god
whose prayers lie dormant
in an undiscovered room

Lovers bereft
unable to surrender
the loved one to fate
prolong the inevitable

Dying is a process
for novices
Those with experience
want the unvarnished truth
They find no comfort
in prolonging the inevitable

in the end
marks days and nights
with a period

Silence permeates
the final curtain

Your head turns
listening for
your name
spoken by
the loved one's voice

intense as the yucca's thirst
Your need flows between
the interstices
of each day's moments
weaving a net of desire
that will remain

*"The Duty of Lovers" is a phrase from a Leonard Cohen song.

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