40 Years On

Of all your language

only this convulsive script

on a monitor remains of you

 

I read it once before you left

your bluish sweeping handwriting

caught me unprepared

 

With pleasure discovered in letters

that were blurred by rain

or snow in the post box

 

Now reduction rules: three lines

only breathing with body heat;

with a heart beat

 

Written in feverish haste as though

some radiant thought were impelling

them on and on to the next page

 

Sometimes all of a sudden sparks leap,

lightning flashes strike

like the finale of a poem

 

A nurse then appears to press

the button and stares at this frail,

gesticulating hand.

 

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