Twilight gathers in the bedroom window.
Rachmaninoff in a minor key, turned low,
wanders on melancholy steppes of sound,
and shadows, rising from the ground,
climb up the trees, which sway a little, like anchored ships.
I spoon soft mouthfuls between her slackened lips.

Mornings return and light up the wild plum
day after day. She lingers, but it’s time to go.
No more fighting now, my darling. Come,
the battle’s over. You won it long ago.

Dear emptying head, as you slip into emptiness
be like a river that joins the sea-surge,
nothing more left now for drowning or shipwreck,
just a current that fills as the waters merge.


John Torrance