UPON DIRE CONTEMPLATIONS
(POEMS FROM THE GRAVE) (2009)
Where I go I will disappear;
vanished not as one that was
but as what could never be.
For I was never here. No. Not I.
Not when being was only wanting.
Not when having was only wishing.
Not when I had nothing that wasn’t mine,
that wasn’t already something else.
And so I shall disappear, just as I already have.
Only this time shall go all remembrance,
And all hope that nothing was really something.
And when I disappear, it will be as it should be.
For that which isn’t is no more than a lie,
And truth, the lie that could never be false,
the lie that held fast and true.
Not like me. No. Not me.
Then again, I’m not me
and I’m already gone.
If apologies are due, I wouldn’t know where to start.
At the beginning, I’m sure. But when was that?
I wasn’t there. At the beginning, that is.
It wasn’t really my fault. That much I know.
But I will take the blame. It’s the least I can do.
And I would do more, if only I knew how.
But my failings are too many. My triumphs too few.
So accept my apologies. They’re all that I have.
For not making it work, for not making it right.
Do not hate me for what I couldn’t bear.
And do not despise me for what I couldn’t be.
I was nothing I should have been,
And yet I yield to your mercy.
Hate me not, but love me still,
Though I have no love to give.
And hate me not , but seek me,
Though I can no longer be found;
Though I have gone, never to return.
It was never my wish to leave, only my choice,
A choice that was chosen long ago.
But would that I had stayed,
That I could have loved you back.
Would that I had stayed,
That you wouldn’t hate me for leaving.
But I have gone. Not far. But far enough.
Yet close enough to know what I’ve left,
And it was wrong of me to leave.
But worse for me to stay.
For it was myself I couldn’t bear,
Myself I could no longer be.
Would that I had been you,
I could have borne all the ills of the world.
But such was not my good fortune.
So forgive me. For not being you;
and for being what I never wanted to be.
And yet if I were you,
I couldn’t have loved you as I did.
And that love I take with me.
And that love I give to you.
It was ours, and so it shall remain.