Absolution, Version 2

Death is coming:

he will grasp my hands

cover my eyes and lead me

down the paths to purgatory

which are paved with faded lace

which we will all in time face.

And when he does

he will ask you to remember

but remembrance is not glory

and cannot bring me back.

Remembrance is flattery.

Pity, or even a sin.

Fake, a lie, for my memory

does not deserve gilding:

for when my path would curve awry

for when my head would deny.

Power defied,

prudence vied.

I am not the hero you think I am

my soul does not want your immortality

with lungs that scream conceit

with hands that play at deceit.

Selfish retreats,

mistakes repeated.

Enchanted by pain:

immortal, the ones I have slain.

In their death came my gain.

In their remembrance comes my pain.

For wrongs profane;

an existence inane.

Remember lawless

remember careless

remember listless

remember hapless

remember artless,

remember graceless.

Or remember not-

naught, indeed

is worthy of remembrance

but the face of repentance:

the cold hands of Death

clasped around mine.

Reparation his scythe,

presentiment my heart.

You will feel it in time.

You will remember my crime.

It matters not where he takes me

how my body disfigures in his hands.

Sanction is a bind.

Fear is a compromise.

Inhuman death is certain,

but remember its absolution.