Touching Death

—J. Redwing Keyssar

I touched Death today
moments after
The last wisp of air from the final exhalation
blew into the light wind above Paradise cove
(A fitting place for the dissolution of the elements).
Golden-yellow skin (jaundice, from the French “jaune”)
Still warm for a while longer
As Spirit exited slowly, so slowly
From the soft shell of a venerable gentle man

Looking out to the deep blue of the Bay, the grey-blue of the sky,
the dark steel of the bridge
My aging hand on his bony chest
In life and in death, reminding me again
And again
How thin the veils, how fragile the body,
How sacred each in-breath
How strong that which resides within—
Call it Spirit, life-force, God.
In this case…call it Larry

—J. Redwing Keyssar
January 2012

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