Silences/XIII

After the lines have been finally pinned down
on the white sheet of paper
that ripples like a sail in your hands,
a frame of signs marking the declensions/apparitions
of the heart, what then?
The visitation of the black angel—
of violence, or sadness, or solitude, or desolation,
or whatever—will not stop,
as you casually thought it would,
having, after all, set great store by the integrity
of grief: like a thief, it suddenly grabs
you by your collar in the ward, while
convalescing among friends, at breakfast
when you are most empty, most vulnerable:
the smiles flashed eons ago
the face that disappeared behind a door
the arms that embraced you quickly
the rub of soft flesh on soft flesh,
until, as though moved—
as you have always been moved for the nth time, anyway—
you insert again another sheet of paper,
fresh smelling of cologne,
to strike down the words that will sum up
for the nth time what has long been
summed up.

It never ends,
this memory hounding you like a dog,
even if you run at the speed of light.

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