An Elegy

i was absent the night you passed
the moon languid and
sickly yellow.
i was afraid of your white skin
flaking off of your body
the dust forming between your lines
and the way you breathed
as though you were no longer taking in air
but that the air was escaping
slowly.
so lowly you lay.
i was so afraid to visit
in fear of watching you die
in fear that you would entrust me with
your last words
and i did not know how i could ever
keep them, this blessing and burden.
i feared and so i let you die alone
these nights of
nights of incredible bereavement.

forgive me,

that i lacked pluck
and never uttered a word to you.
all i can offer now is a
voiceless language–
a composition of a fragile elegy
a concerto of cowardice
scribed gently into your stone,
the soil above your
slumber.

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