The hours between washing and the well
Of burial are the soul’s most troubled time.
I sat with her in keeping company
All through the affliction of the night, keeping
Soul constant, a second self. Earth is heavy
And I made no wish, save being
Merely magical. I am magical
No more. This, I well remember well.
In the sweet thereafter the impress
Of the senses will be tattooed to
The whole world ravelling in the clemency
Of an autumn of Octobers, all that bounty
Bountiful and the oaks specifically
Afire as everything dies off, inclining
To the merciful. I would have made of my body
A body to protect her, anything to keep
Her well & here–in the soul’s suite
Before five tons of earth will bear
On her, stay here
Soul, in the good night of my company.