by Syd Logsdon
Abbit perault desegené . . .
An old man tried to speak the words
That his fading mind could not compel;
Began again, and once again,
Could not complete the vital spell.
Outside his walls a storm was coming
Snow had just begun to fall,
Within his chest there beat the ragged,
Slowing pulse of death’s own song.
Abbit perault divalté . . . Damn!
The formula locked in his skull,
He could not force them free —
Those words that he had labored long
To etch in stones of memory.
Four thousand years ago he spoke them,
At Marduk’s feet in Babylon.
The old God said that death was conquered,
But warned him, never wait too long.
A hundred years ago he spoke them,
With shortened breath he sang their song,
And rose to live another century —
Remember, never wait too long.
A man grows tired, a brain grows weary
Childhood memories fade away.
Three hundred wives, so many children;
Still clinging at end of day.
Not satisfied, not done with dreaming,
Not ready for his final lay,
Desire unquenched, immortal hunger
Not to simply slip away.
But hunger isn’t all he needs
If memory fades with every breath.
Abbit . . . my God what was that spell?
The one that puts an end to death.