for Mark Green
This is therefore the intensest rendezvous.
It is in that thought that we collect ourselves,
Out of all the indifferences, into one thing.
I would be a fool, I thought, in any effort
to greet him at the end of dinner, no matter
what I said or did. But why, why pretend
I didn't see him, then disappear as if
I hadn't been there? "No," I answered
the stare of my clean white plate.
"The darkness cannot have it, not now or ever."
So I walked to his chair and whispered
in his ear: "Hello, friend, courage teacher."
A greeting that changed to prayer, and then
an order inside the air when he responded
with a smile and strong embrace. No more.
"Noli timere," Seamus texted his wife
before he died in his Dublin bed.
"As should we in life!" I yawped on the heath
between my ears. "Keep the silence,"
the silence cried, so I mouthed the words.
"Do not fear," as if this courage were mine
to mouth and we were keeping our love
a secret from the darkness by saying goodbye
with our eyes and lips. By stabbing the air as well
with our thumbs upraised as we turned away.