He squints at receding snow
up Hellgate canyon. Blue sky,
the raven has returned, insists he go
outside, offer up his skeletal
remains. The poet watches
warily from his dark cave,
ponders the ethics of suicide,
that emergency exit left to us
when the house is burning down.
It’s a comfort to know that
door’s not locked. He’s a telegram
stopped in an on-line world.
The poet’s grown tired of cigarettes
and pain, swallowing words that have lost
their bite. An old bear starves
when his teeth are gone.
Night will come, the clouds, the rain.
Rilke, the pills are on the TV tray
quiet under unpaid bills.
He watches the door. There’s no question
it will open some day. Maybe tomorrow
his daughter will come, fill the white space
beyond the dash. The poet lives, but sleep’s
all he desires. His cane rests,
propped against the bed or chair,
should the moon stir his blood to throb,
call him to stand, turn the knob and choose.