Obituary: For Barry Spacks

by Joseph Gallo

Each day, your name moves down the list a little.

Dying is a hurried business and it’s best not to hang

for too long at the top. The names look crisp, struck

in finer inks than are used to sell cars and hawk yard

sales. How do our printed lives fit so neatly in layout

columns set aside for death than they ever did in life?

Days resume to food and fuss, familiar burdens we slog

and bear from one dawn to the next, willingly and not,

one step and another, the tulips opening and closing,

the tides hurling themselves like boomerangs around

the world, mountains disintegrating one grain of rain

at a time, the moon inching ever away, year after year.

We are taken each by the day that takes us, by paths

we choose to lose ourselves upon. We are no different

than anyone who came this way before us, who conspired

to consort and set fragile stones whereby we might retrace

their steps to our beginning, who by luck of late tides and

fortune of early wanderers happened on us there abandoned.

Those of us who remain will keep this place until we

relent, until we give over all we hold for the time we

hold it so that others may take up our cause beneath

a brighter sun, dimmer stars whirring above them,

kisses they must spend or lose forever, the extracting

of all they can take from the giving to what must come.

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