Dustin Pickering “You Have Left the World”

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I quake, grief clasping my eyes shut
with the pride of a lion,
my chest sinks into confused silence,
and I can only look at your cold body
before me. You were hidden in tears
and years of golden simplicity
kept you from speaking.
Your heart was the needle you drove
into your flesh, and time was a warrior
who battened her eyes. Strange days
have brought a lifeless faith.
I look for the song of my angel:
she is broken, her harp unstrung.

Now, my tenderness is the queerest lie
and my poem only speaks to one heart:
the heart of decadence.
You witnessed my silence from a dark reserve
in the trilogies of time.
I ache, cold river of splendor,
and am enchanted by grief and rage.
You have left the world
with me in it.

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