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A Hollow End

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she’s dead.

 

and you pick up the pieces

 

 

I

 

We were the agents,

We were the travelers,

Roaming alone

Objectives hard opposed. Alas!

Our letters, as

We skimmed and braided strands

Were vast and seeking

As suns born in ages past

Or centenary blooms on planets unmasked

On lone and level sands.

 

Shape of abundant forms, color of infinity,

A force and a gesture, in stillness and motion,

 

You who have descended

With double-banked eyes, to that final hidden Shift

Remember me— if at all — not as the Agency’s

Desperate fool, but only

As your echo,

Your last goodbye.

 

 

II

 

Hues I dare not name in dreams

In the Garden’s dream kingdom

Do appear:

Here, you are not yet

A sunlight-broken weapon

Here, beneath a rope swinging

You lay and dream

Of the wind’s singing

Your hunger not yet rooted

In who you are.

 

Let me draw near

In your green dream kingdom

Let me also wear

Such deliberate disguises

Bird bones, colored lights, crushed porcelain

Through grass

Behaving as a blade behaves

And nearer—

 

Till that final communion

In the Garden’s kingdom

 

 

III

 

This is the dead land

This is cactus land

Here the gone citizens

Were razed, here their ghosts receive

The supplication of an echo’s hand

Under the shadow of a gathering storm.

 

Is it like this

Where you are,

Waking alone

At the hour when we are

Trembling with tenderness

Lips that would kiss

Form prayers to trunkless stone.

 

 

IV

 

You are not here

You were never here

In this cell that is your world

In this hollow valley

This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

 

In this last of meeting places

I cry out alone

and stripped of words,

Gathered by the walls of this barren prison

 

Sightless, unless

You reappear

Your curved smile

A multifoliate rose

Sheathed in hunger’s horcrux workings,

Only too late

To halt my final end.

 

 

V

 

This is the way to win the war

To win the war, to win the war

This is the way to win the war

At five o'clock in the morning.

 

Between the word

And the presence

Between the fire

And the wound

Falls the Shadow

 

For yours is the Kingdom

 

Between the conception

And the creation

Between the bridge

And its fracture

Falls the Shadow

 

Life is far too long

 

Between the rear

And the snap

Between the hunger

And its consummation

Between the knowing

And the plummet

Falls the Shadow

 

For yours is the Kingdom

 

For yours is

Life is

For yours is the

 

This is the way the war ends

This is the way the war ends

This is the way the war ends

Tucked in the seed of a letter.