Issue 67, Fall 1976
"You will lie down with others.” —old saying.
Because you cannot be alone all of the time
you will lie down with others.
Because you cannot be hoarding each moment
and keeping it, reserving it for yourself,
when all around you the people are eating eating
even the air,
you will lie down with others at the end.
Because your children in their very walking home
encounter the knife edge of strangeness
and ever after bear these razored wounds
and bleed bleed bleed
notwithstanding your upbringing or entreaties
your love or hope or charity for them
you will come unto a strange country yourself
and rub across it languageless.
Because you are old, because your bones
don’t seem quite at home anymore in your skin,
because the walk you took last night
restored not a carefree mood but rather
the usual misgivings and uneasiness,
and because you so lately bear up less and less
well, and can do so very little for yourself,
though you consider yourself nonetheless
you will lie down with others soon,
you will pass down a row of hands,
you will be attended.