Garments rent. Nakedness. A
trivial strain; armour dissolves.
Swollen throat forces downward,
heartward; respawns loneliness’s
bitter winter ache; bleak,
stupefying, coercive; thrusting
bluntly back within. Anaesthesia
fades into strike of grief, face
wets with tears, eyes, blinking
salt, the last real drink running
into the corners of the mouth, at
once mocking and sustaining.
Here, we must linger, must hold
on, straining for comfort and
light, fearing, denying that when
this ends, nothing remains but
soul and self, glorious, pathetic.