by Robert Rhodes
This room is a rainstorm, leaves and paper under foot.
This room is the psalms, penitential and bleeding,
recited here secretly for the dead. Please don’t tell.
The dead, you know, are not always aware
of their rumored predicament. Silence then. (Agreed.)
This room is where I first saw you and knew
what this room was supposed to be:
that it would be my death,
an early vespers, ending before
the lamps were even lit,
that someday it would be where I
ceased to belong to the rest of this world.
Ever since, I have left the windows open
mindful of vagrant spirits passing
and gone about my business:
writing things, listening, waiting for the day
you return to take me in your arms.
Unlost friend, oldest of all,
let us look up into the rain