Celebration (for Sarah)

Time, he says, for a toast –
the world as an event hasn’t ended,
the moon still pulls the ocean
hither & thither
whose waves sigh like a febrile breath.
Nothing has changed:
he still sips coffee with friends,
wet behind their ears,
who offer their hands to lift him up
from the night’s abyss.
Even sad poems slow the blood down
& allow him some stocktaking
to recover an imagined lost ground
in Zorba’s dance.
The peal of laughter
scoops the heart up from drowning
in quicksand grief.
Time, he says, for a treat –
the world as an event hasn’t ended:
someone still waits strangely in the wings,
O behind a closed door in the heart’s labyrinth!

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