That I would not choose to stay sounds
thick with weakness in his mouth,
and I understand that if this greenness,
this creaking summer sun, only happens once and
then never again, perhaps it is worth continuing,
But he has not buried bodies yet;
has not blanketed bruises
leaking from the skin of loved ones, or
clawed at the weight of their wailing in his ears,
Even still, he has lived too
and I don't recall when my words changed from carving
houses in the carnage to crawling six feet under the ash, and
I am slick with shame in the grey of this revelation.
See, I agree for the most part, about the value of things,
until his voice twists to the defense attorney that has my belief
in all but bones, in all but blood, because
to think of them shredded by the shrapnel,
brain matter quicksand on the curbside,
I cannot lie, cannot say I would stay:
Darling, isn't there always another rib-cage to wrap yourself in?
A new reason to rebuild your body as a bomb shelter to shield them from grief?
This is where I draw the line, I think,
because there is always someone else to live for
and I will do it, but not unfailingly - no:
At that brink, on that bed, heavy with tubes and sedation,
soul or skin or half-homed ghost transparent and contemplating,
knowing those closest were empty under white linen sheets, even
believing there would be nothing after but blackness, but sleep,
I hope I would at least consider
the importance of living for me.