& it of it [love] & it of it [death]
& even now it is & is not as it was thought to be only it is what it is is what it always is an ideal for the living to keep to keep keeping on it is implored it is praised it is as chant as spell as savior it as self as self & others as selfless & in service of others of others it is for the existence of—
& yet on this end of all endings it has remained same same day as day before even if sickness spreading even in the spreading of sickness still dishes washed coffee made coffee consumed intellectual lingering after the act to stall a little longer a little stall of day nothing alas deceit as day continues the minutes the seconds the piano keys in successions minor & major melodies with no care not a care for this day as any day still there is wife wife is still at her desk fingers hovering about computer keys forthcoming daughter humming in a warm sac these memories the necessity of memories for the living to keep living these memories can not will not do not matter for it is here & it will take away any need for there will be no life no need for it & yet—
thought of this ache this connectedness this community to know it is meaningless or given meaning only to make oneself feel more safe to make oneself feel more of it yet it doesn’t need any of it no to know the world is no better in my departure than it was for my arrival no to know that grandiose change only means meaning to the select few desiring the meaning & yet my ambition wanted more wanted to believe like when sister died family somehow would be bonded by it family would somehow be transformed by it & yet there it was [death] resting so gently inside sister & yet there it was [death] raging so perverse inside each of us not a connected breathing unit only individuals with individual suffering each suspicious of the other each summoning it to do our bidding to do our judging to manifest our blues to punctuate wailing & yet nothing transformed just as the world has not transformed still each individual the [death] it did it the [death] it did change each individual & those where it already existed it maybe grew a bit stronger but those outside of the it that already existed it didn’t happen no to know no new [love] spread to know no new [love] burst no new [love] bloom to know one only coveted & protected what little [love] already existed & what will daughter call it never seeing the flesh of departed father & what did father call it seeing the departed death of daughter & what does brother & what do I call it now an age older than older sister departed another [death] in an endless series of—
& yet memories even in the face of it sustains a bit longer delays a bit longer can’t help but laugh a little at J at myself 18 or so oozing so of youth’s fascination with death poems how many death poems did we scrawl how famous did we imagine our lives to be how many books would we write & leave upon the shelf dear friend a permanent memory of our existence friend dearly what ambitious imagination of our yawping & now married & now with wives & now no rooftops & now to feel it settle in & now to feel the regret & now to know it is nothing as imagined to struggle with it to fumble endlessly in verbiage hoping to stay afloat as the light dims as the anxiety spreads as it will only matter & yet to know it will only matter to a few & yes but it & yes to those few it was & it remains everything & so it is thank you & so it is from a place of finitude a last desire of infinite of endless thank yous & then it happens & then it empties & no need need no not necessary to employ religious rhetoric no need not necessary for praising hallelujahs or hell’s high water or some loving father or some loving genderless all knowing thing/deity & yet it is nice to be free to free oneself of delusions to be free of desires to see failures & success even into nothingness—
& yet again to those to wife to daughter inside wife to D to B to F to J to J to J to J to B to C to V to & oh this list is longer than longer than anticipated & not enough time to continue & so it goes to realize to surprise in the end the ending of all ends to not be concerned about the end of the world only the end of self & the list of those that it [love] clings to & the list of those that it [death] will not erase or there will be no memory of their erasure it is a nice list a nice list of the living a longer than expected list a list in which there is not enough day to complete & yet still it is a list & for that there is thank you & now an emptying & now an emptying & now a silence & now a silence & entering into of it & of it a silence & emptying & a nothing—
Steven Karl is the author of Dork Swagger (Coconut Books) and
Sister (Noemi Books, 2016).