running out of memory

the pity though is not that he is gone
has been for the last seventeen or so
years yielding them to someone’s separate life
detached from his to an autonomous person
an unacknowledged gift not his to pass
nor ours to keep for seventeen bitter years
turned loose and now entirely self-propelled

hold on i’ll tell you what the pity is
the time unlived by him is getting far
too long for us to trust the image claiming
our total memory within whose cells
his past unshapes itself there is no past
outside ourselves and what’s inside is ours
there is less room for someone else’s past
are we some fucking gods or what get real
he should have crossed that street with more discretion

now that i think who of all people is gone
he seldom comes to mind the crowd has grown
the pity is he’s dead again for good

gods know no sorrow in their blue demesne
being too eternal even to exist
they hardly bother to tell green from orange
come to think of it he was color-blind
leave gods alone we are the only problem
abandoned on the bitter winter pavement
cradling another’s life within our own


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