By Vincent Casaregola
There is nothing to say—
this moment, now, with you,
is so fragile, so transient that
it can only be known but
never expressed or spoken . . .
even so, this knowledge, so
pointed, so poignant, must be
rejected, pushed away, if
we are to continue living, so
we look away, walk away
to leave knowledge for some
later day, some latter fate.
We know, nevertheless, that
one of us will, at that time
unspecified be called to tasks
unwelcome and burdensome—
one of us will, inevitably, cast
down our gaze at the prostrate
other, in a gray room of tubes
and wires, with scrub-clad nurses
and a physician nodding gravely.
One of us will be called to meet
with officious staff for signatures,
and later with the graciously unctuous
men in funereal suits and quiet smiles
who can wrap and paint us pretty,
and place us boxed, and boxed again,
like a Russian nested doll into
the blank space of dull ground.
Or one of us will watch the other
be shelved like an old, unwanted
volume in the stacks for the rarely
used, or buried like a dead file
in the chambered, basement archives
deep under some nameless structure.
After days of rushing, half awake,
one of us will know the touch
of the front door knob, entering
familiar space without an answering
voice, merely the scent of the past.
There is nothing to say.
Vincent Casaregola, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of English and the Director of the Film Studies Program at St. Louis University. He has published and won awards for both literary nonfiction and poetry. Journals include The Examined Life, Natural Bridge, New Letters, Via, and The Iowa Journal of Literary Studies.