Word Quota

To know his voice with the certainty
of knowing, my heart will continue to beat
even if I don’t urge it on,
and yet, with the same conviction that I will
never be able to replicate his tenor for anyone else.

No one will hear it as I have,
there was a finite number of words for him to speak,
and now he has spoken them all.

How deep is the ravine of that pain?
A foot? A mile? A hole which has no end?
For which the bottom never rushes to meet me,
never swallows and splits me open upon its terrible teeth.

There is no succinct finale,
no period to mark the end of this ache,
to let a breath be taken before moving forward.

It is a tidal wave in pitch black which capitulates,
It is an ulcer pulsating unseen,
It is the feeling of unequivocalness.
Turning around in a forest to find a wall in its place.

Death is candid, he does not take and give back,
what he snatches is for keeps.
He never lies and says ‘I’ll tell you what I’ll do…‘
He is not a salesman but a judge,
a brusque swing of his gavel-
and then noiselessness.