My spiritual heart sank deep, the physical one following, after so many others’ had gone silent before me. It barely treads above the surface now in the well where I could usually touch bottom, where I always poured my sadness, where the real indigo-to-midnight melaina kholé steals the light from my eyes, where my being sinks more each day. My fear is the only way I’ll escape is for the well to overflow with sadness, the dark madness that drowns and buries you before you even begin to die. And I can’t take on any more, it’s weight pulling me deeper with each handful of their graves’ dirt I grabbed on my way down. I’d call for someone else’s hand, but my voice has become a rasp, a scraping jet-black sound like a crow’s shadow against a stormy night’s cloud. That’s about all I can see from this tunnel of up to down, a dimming light, a day-to-day fight to recall what day today is, if day it is. And so I float, my face to what might be the sky, might be the last look at your eye, as we each search for the man who once straddled the penumbra, where light at least shone upon half his life.
Poem #20, a prose poem (C’mon, Joe, it’s a friggin’ jeremiad) whose only brightness might be a here-and-there sneaky rhyme, an expression of what sometimes happens when the losses pour in higher and faster than you can bail them out of your well of sorrows. I know these things, and sometimes these days I get so tired.