Pan laughs through the stars & leaves shivering silver
during an eclipse not at all catastrophic.
The predictions' pale & no pall, this, only kindness
here in the statuary solace of these iron angel posts
against this brownstone.
Oh cellar windows of high heels & fronds,
where are the gargoyles & griffins of midsummer night?
In streets such as these, in jungles, even farms
throughout all timelessness, so many hopes set high
went to half-mast before.
Long the voyage of that Eros-chimera still sparkling
beyond war's grit & harsh lack, the gray winding veil
over those lands shadows petrify.
Dawn comes & the moon pulls its gravity in.
The Earth's poles are physics of poetry
sprinkling quarks, phloem, cells.
God, the universe was never missing nor mad--
Sprites in geometrics shoot their arrows to laugh at
the tandem abandon knows.
Our best intimacy came in the midst of your long journey towards death,
our touches gentle where deeper acts were implications just in trust.
Was it thanks to you, to me, going out of our minds?
By doing so we reached further than mortality
in this crossroads between dying & living.
Thank you. Nothing else I've ever known has come close
to being so purely itself.
The misunderstanding, the dense, have jealousy.
The ignorant walk away. What care we when in easy light
you become so radiant, & I too float with your travels?
Some say it's the pain medicine & that you hallucinate.
Some say it's just disease process, dementia, signs one must note,
but friend, such beauty I find, such sense through your rambling's will,
the shiny grace of need where your old self pours.
I know you confuse me with Kenny, Scott, Patrick, past loves,
past losses, that you are busy on a search to align their faces
with my own. The same goes for what surrounds you, an attempt
to make sense, control what this strange hospice means.
Interpolations storm forth, the business you used to run,
the social life lead, the romantic glamour of trips, a song in ears
when juggling gives inclusion & you try to remove my shirt!
Also, you trace my nose, cheek, hair, lean forward, kiss even
for reverie it is - we who were never lovers somehow confusingly
lovingly deep between the plane of life & dying that surely life itself
makes simple & clear.
I believe in that like an entrance despite how you might be dreaming
about snakes or seeing Chinese manuscripts in these sterile walls.
Yes, I believe in this opening's mysterious reverence for the transition
despite how you forget my name, say instead, my own dearest love.
Another time I asked what you were thinking of & "you" you replied,"
adding" wonderful, wonderful" when I asked if that was good.
Intimacy answered better then, unexpected, & to cherish enlarges
what moments carry us beyond your death or mine.
Stephen Mead is a retired Civil Servant, having worked two decades for three state agencies. Before that his more personally fulfilling career was fifteen years in healthcare. Throughout all these day jobs he was able to find time for writing poetry/essays, and creating art. Occasionally he even got paid for this work. Currently he is resident artist/curator for The Chroma Museum, artistic renderings of LGBTQI historical figures, organizations and allies predominantly before Stonewall, The Chroma Museum.