If What

John Oliver Simon

If what the spirit does at death is rejoin
the Great Expanse, as Berenice named it
facing her transcendence back when I was young
and immortal and in love with her daughter,

I can deal, but I love this incarnation,
Iíll stay as long as I can, wonít close down bar
or lunge headlong into infernoís shadows
hell a perversion to frighten innocents,

and should identity simply flutter out
as bats from Cathedral in total eclipse
donít make me no never mind ó but might I choose

Iíll be an invisible bird ó not made by
Grecian goldsmiths ó shadowing Isabella,
above her in branches, keeping her from harm.



 

John Oliver Simon is Sage on the Stage at California Poets in the Schools. He is a distinguished translator of Latin American poetry, and has written more than 800 unrhymeschemed hendecasyllabic sonnets.

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