One of the gifts of the evening hours
is darkness, a velt screen between your self
and the brutal art of dying.
Your knees, your shoulders, ribs,
are hard etched in the parchment of your skin.
You watch your own heart beat, you’ve grown so thin.
Another gift is numb, narcotic sleep.
Entire days drip slowly into veins,
the tubes exchanging morphine for release
from pain as deep and venomous as dreams.
Tonight I wish you this: a candle blown
out gently, the last page of your book,
and all your children near. And may your bones
sing, no longer with pain, but with roses.