Incantations to Sadness


It will be cancers, heart attacks, and strokes
that fell us.
Parasites, pneumonia, bacteria
will kill us.
Our joints wear out. Plaques build inside our brains.
They tell us
the time is soon, the day we will be free—

but sadness
looms larger than every disease.  It fits
no weird rigs
of DNA.  It bears us down where no
down can tend,
an aimless center, like beauty’s endless end.

If seen, that beauty is bleeding out.  The air
can’t reach us.
If heard, that beauty’s roar is like waters
that strand us
on eternity’s strange shore—what it means, it
can’t teach us.
The time is soon, a day we will be free—

and sadness,
bearing us home, keeping us snugly buried,
lets us see.
The yard is dark, and here the stars stay out—
small fierce words
the mice look up in our heart’s dictionary.

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