I think sometimes I have seen
moments of a dreadful clarity
surfacing like long forgotten fish
in the faces of those dying unprepared
in nurse-clean sheets who see
suddenly the character of their minute.
Luckily perhaps, those
whose grip was never strong
seldom see approach their whimpering ends.
They fade away, old soldiers gibbering,
Minds meaningless and wrong.
But you! Lying now incontinent
breathing the odour of your coming corpse
a few months foretold
vacant now your stare
the television screen not comprehended,
that silence when you paused
and looked at me –
how much your silence was it eloquent?