They Won’t Forget to Pray
(verses in response to “So Long Marianne”)
In the night,
you asked for silence
to speak to angels
for Marianne, for Marianne.
You opened your lips
and dry as they were still breathed
the confession of stillness.
Darkness approached as you addressed
love in its trembling thoughts.
I can’t hear your voice.
It is quiet and the world continues to echo
the room you left empty when you died.
If there was anything left,
it was a pipe and a small notebook with scribbles.
Oh, Marianne has left the stage in hours before.
Her heavenly corpse stills the wind in wonder
like a Scripture of earth and sea.
She is by your side in the winter
while your face is quiet in tears.
This room is empty
except a name,
the name of love.
(The boy feathers his head
with soft thoughts,
unclear though they are.)
I know your light
but I sense the hopelessness,
the emerging vanity.
(My lameness, o Vulcan,
is a curse like yours.
I feather my head with soft thoughts.)
A struggle will harden the surface,
make a skeptical king
of the sugary mirror.
(A self image hides in hypnosis.
No rage will purge my broken
heart, o loss: permanence.)