Inscription

I’ll dedicate the book to you
each page of benediction or bewilderment
a reminder of my inevitable defeat
you’ll get a signed author’s copy
by registered mail, which you will then discard
without reading or examination
I’ll dedicate the book, the life and death
of the confused and baffled artist
as I did since we met, since we loved, since you left
it contains none of the flowery words
the sonnets and delight
that I wrote for your eyes only
I’ll dedicate the book to you
your name forever on that open page
which you will not review nor shed tear
your copy will be burned or throw careless
among food waste and jettisoned junk
with my gifts and my heart and my love
to keep it company in obscurity
I’ll dedicate the book to you
in its silent screams and ragged sorrow
prayers unanswered to be cast
into the void of vacuous nihility
yet each page, each poem, each crafted line
consecrated to your name
with every breath a blessing
I’ll dedicate the book to you
and each page weeps and bleeds
you will read none, as you cast aside
those collected leaves of paper and ink
as if they were not a plea to you
or as from some stranger they have no essence
significant only as landfill or fuel
I’ll dedicate the book to you
part of the bequest I make
to join the material things in the
other document laying safe until time is called
the book, the life, the death
all recycled into nothing

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