A 50-year-old shouldn't die,
and if he can go, so can I,
      and so can you.
And I can do nothing but grieve in advance
and pull you back, grasping,
tearing your shirt on the way to the altar.

Can I be Abraham and not expect the ram?
Can I raise my knife and plunge,
not expecting a halting hand?
Plunge into my love, into my heart,
into my dearest joys.
Plunge into the beating heart of my man,
the beating heart of my son,
the beating heart of my dreams,
      plunge into me.
Can I allow lifeblood to pour
without hope of heaven or tourniquet?

But how can I restrain the flow of the tide?
How can I grasp the water of life?
Even clenched fists leak,
the water silently seeping
without our seeing
and when we open our hands to pour,
      it is gone.
Damp palms, cramped knuckles,
glistening with our loss.


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