RD ( / )

An Epitaph

You are returned to the shadows of a name that was never you,
Yin: dark, passive, quiet, all-absorbing. In the end
Your name became you. I’m told the lupus tore the petals
From the flower that was your face: that your smile shrivelled
To a dry parody of itself; and that you never laughed again.
I cannot imagine you, submissive, lying down
On the railway track, waiting for the train
That would take you away from us all.

They say a note was found in the wastepaper basket
Of a seedy room in a King’s Cross hotel, crumpled up,
The words lost in a criss-cross of creases
As if your desperation was unworthy
Of further attention. No-one who knew
The bright sparkling jewel that was you
Could have dreamed up such a demise.

We are unwise after the event, each one of us shaken:
The terrible beauty that is life,
That is living, mystifies constantly,
Tears us from the soft womb of complacency.
I do not understand, Yin,
For all the years I’ve been here,
For all the books I’ve read,
For all of everything I’ve ever felt,
I do not understand.

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