In Memoriam: For Henryk Gorecki
This sorrow, it burns inside me;
I cannot shake it.
I breathe it in with the air,
filling my lungs to their full.
Even in joyous moments—here,
with you, in bed in warmth at night—
I cannot escape its grasp.
It envelops me completely.
One could be clinical, a gimlet eye
cast at the surrounding world.
No, clinical, is that not the word?
Oh, well, it rhymes, and gives the same
effect. Our words have a wellknown
bias towards those with no voice—
or at least no voice to be heard.
Scribblings on prison walls don’t count.
How much happier to be of the
elect. All would be much simpler:
a sunny life, with the once-in-a-while
balming rain to wash away the doubt
that, perhaps, in some corner
things were as dark and as not right
as the agitators alleged.
Easily forgotten and sloughed.
Or? Chip away, chip by chip,
the stone flaking into the pit,
the marble revealing the form
beneath—beautiful or horrible,
your choice, pay your money, no
refunds after six days, all is
set in motion inexorably.
Life always continues, heedlessly.
Sorrow chooses who it will; chooses
you, or me; him, or her; but it’s
imposed on no one; the gift
can be rejected. It often is.
Sorrow is not despair; it
is fire, and fuel, and heat to warm
the soul. It is the blood of life.
Rest, now; the sun is yet far away.
When in the darkened gloom and fog you go
And leave me solitary in my flat,
It is then in that silence that I know.
To you I leave, in time, to tell me what
Hides behind that sad and feral smile. Yet
Love is ever hopeful, is it not true?
I wait for your return, so to forget
These lone and quiet moments filled with rue.
You may return; you may not; it’s your choice.
I’ve long gone past the point where I can sway.
I’d speak to you, but my words have no voice.
I wait for the scent of your ghost each day.
I’ll attend you a bit; that much I owe
To us; but time moves—creeping, jagged, slow.