What The Priestess Sees
Between sickness and the rites of death, no pause.
Five nights vanguard.
Last morning. Sky, dirty, exhausted blue.
it is over.
Quiet breath separates now and final rites.
He emerges moth-like from chrysalis house;
white-haired, nearing brittle. Suddenly older.
Past nights he clutched your photograph,
telling grief and loss. Night crowds paid
Imperious, sad emperor, ordering respects, obeisance.
Those pantomimes of kneeling and offering joss.
No woman should be born
with clear eyes.
I am sorry for his sorrow.
Sorrier still, for divining its core:
He couldn't sleep not for grief but because
he was afraid that you'd return, dear wife, haunting.