My poetry doesn't hear him anymore,
doesn't echo the murmur of Shakespearean
tragedies under his breath at midnight
and curses hurled at the innocent night sky,

no longer cringes at the sound of his name
or bears the indentations that remain of
his cold husk twisted beneath white sheets,

nor does it sprinkle my skin like the dew
in spring or hole its shuddering sentences
up in the corner of my heart to pulse in my veins.

Though my fingers will never forget
dragging each nail through the embers
left over from the smoldering pages,

the pen does not compose daydreams
in soft syllables that slide off the tongue
like a warm breath trembling in the

winter evenings; and the paper itself
remains blank, perhaps an aching gap,
yet all the whiter for it, without those
swollen blots of ink to scar its pages.