Collected Poems of John Holmes
Holmes, John A., Jr.
He wrote in the dust upon the mirror, "Death,"
For the best of reasons: it had seemed to him,
For once not taking second thought. a grim,
A sudden, wildly humorous thing to do.
The five transparent letters hung like smoke
Upon the glass he wished he might go through,
Between the real room and its ghost beyond,
That other quieter room so like his own,
Where even thought might let his mind alone.
Step through like Alice; nothing there, no cat,
No Cards, no queens of chess, no Tweedledum.
Only his empty chair, his shelves of books,
His rugs, his walls, waiting for him to come.
Nothing, he thought, prevented but this glass
That gave such light to sight, such peace to grace-
And saw himself there staring at himself,
Death written plainly on his smiling face.