There Will Be No Earthquake

There will be no earthquake
the ground will not tremble
the skies will not swell
with the tears of ninety-nine virgin brides
the snow will not blanket the body
to lay it to rest
soft shoots will not burst forth
from the groundThere will be only silence
or bird song or the rush of traffic
and the stuttering breath of defeat
when at last the foot falters
the head falls, the unremarkable crash
of flesh given up to the inevitable

A slight heartache might come
for a lover or child or friend
but . . .

There will be no chasm
to swallow the evidence
the wind will not tear or scream
the floods will not bring
final communion
the stars will not cascade to the earth
leaving fiery craters to mark the grave
the final words will go unrecorded
and unremembered

So . . .

why knot the rope?
Why kiss the blade?
Why sip from the poisoned cup?

There will be no twister
come as carriage over a rainbow.
There will be no flash of light
to indicate transcendence.

There will be cold
and fear
and vulnerability
and regret
and pain
and then. . .

there will be nothing.

There will be no mark
left in death that had not already
been made in life.