I sit before a waterfall at dusk
as Darkness, my old lover, fast approaches,
streaming towards me on the wings of inevitability.
Another shift – this time drawing me
with the departing light into a depth of space
with no landmarks, lights, or any consolations.
I am sober in this oncoming blackness.
There is a sort of peace, yes,
but more the peace of the graveyard
that beckons with the fading of the light.
There’s always more to be let go,
more to be surrendered at the altar
where we sacrifice our vanities
for little crumbs of truth.
A whisper in my ear:
I do not ask for mercy,
I know what I must do.
It is always such a simple thing.
I bow my head in mute reception.
She swings the sword so gracefully, yes –
I have been here before.
This is what She does.
This is what I do.
The sound the blade makes
as it slices the air –
somehow familiar, even comforting
in its stark but generous expediency.
In a flash it is consummated.
silently sluice over waterfall,
skillfully severed at the root,
and now the night:
so still, so deep!
Was there ever such a night as this?
In my pocket, a candy mint
from some long-forgotten restaurant . . .
Here, take it —
it’s for you.