He appeared short of breath though
normal of stature,
Gasping it seemed though his labored
speech struggled to make sense,
Halting to put the words together without
the sound of death,
Absent the refrain that led him to see that
all that was there was a corruption so deep
that self-love itself had been assassinated,
Somehow cut out in the deep and the longing.
His willing friends not the keepers of destruction or
the means of it but complicit,
Noted in the sun as his bleached face
rot made palpable,
Overawed by the nature of undoing.
And we wished for a laying on of hands,
For there is not but human agency here
And without self-regard nothing is certain.
Mirrors of consumption reflecting down
endless corridors led him through the
oaths and affirmations others expected.
But not once, not one time did he stand
upright in the passage of his own
dissolutions to break the stream and
breach the rapids carrying him down
the falls to the turbulence below.