There, one day at the bar,
Bob Dylan leaning patient
over the pool table or sharing
a cigarette from what could have been
the last pack he ever owned.
You think, desperately,
in collage, in rewind, playback,
how you could have made an impact--
but you don't know.
No one knows.
And the lonely walk silent
within themselves, and they will.
In goodbyes or not, in departures
willing, knowing or not,
there's not a crystal ball
big enough in this bleeding world.
No one knows.
Yet how you yearn to understand
what holds a man--each
specific man--to this earth,
what makes the gentle beauty depart,
too much with us. Only now,
only a taste, of the welling
over of it. And there is
nothing for it.
For only the dead can know.