Corpse Vigil

This funeral pall, this gauze upon your eyes
is linen-thin and so weightless I could see your breath
were you talking or given to the faintest of sighs,
but you are breathless, my love, and this thin gauze is as thick as Death
which dwells ever on the other side of all things,
farther away than Tomorrow, and even farther than Yesterday,
no nearer than Caesar, Pharaoh, Khan, or the countless kings
that have also passed through the pall for an eternal stay.
So white this gauze, and so black the gaze
searching through this night to find my soul
ready for barter, for trade, this silence but a moon phase
while my demons clamber in the puncture hole.
They say I am to watch over you so no oni might come,
but why would such creatures gnaw you when they have sweeter fare
in this yet-beating breast , the only one in this nocturnal kingdom
of carrion and crypts and many an unanswered prayer?
Come, demons, come ghouls, partake of this ripe chest
for it may bleed more freely than the mummified dead
so silent and still beneath their thin shrouds, each blest
with the silence on the other side of our world: oblivion’s stagnant bed.
So thin that pall that separates from the other side!
My love, my life, my silent, breathless bride!

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