Richard Kenney, “Coda”

Coda

I tried lacing loss into these lines,
thinking to bind it safely there.

But when much lifetime had raced by I
saw rather

trapped in the scrag noose, too,
joy and daylight.

I bottled also bile in these poems,
thinking to isolate

the toxin. But when much lifetime had raced by I
found it on the mantel.

I thought to lower these poems into a salt dome—
stable, it’s said, for aeons.

And who isn’t one?
Once

I tried to write invisibly,
but all lifetime is a candle.

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