All That's Left

All that's Left
     in the world
—whether in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia
as well as in China, Japan, the United States, 
Europe, the Middle East, Africa—
all of them cannot,
   despite their resistance,
   despite their refusal,
stop this march of death
because they, 
as well as all that's Right 
in the world,
   despite their refusal,
   despite their resistance,
already are counted among those
   in this last parade.
Communists and progressives,
nazis, fascists and reactionaries,
zionists and anarchists of every stripe—
none are excluded, none can evade the march.

This one's not coming 
with hammer and sickles or swastikas
or flags of any land.

This one's the march 
all wars surrender to.

But when?!   comes the unanimous cry.
When will it really happen?
If death is peace,
when can I truly die?

You will never know, and yet you do,
because you may already have,
and this life is your way
of paying homage to the power
that loves you enough 
to have taken your life away
and left you with the taste
of immortality on your lips.

Nothing mystical: no Christ,
Allah, Jahweh or Buddha in the wings.
Even lying on your back you're marching.

This is not a cynical or pessimist
or nihilist poem. Join death 
to your life and you will live
as if there were no drum to march to.

There is no march at all.

You're done. All will be well for all.

From All That's Left by Jack Hirschman. Copyright © 2008 by Jack Hirschman. Used by permission of City Lights Publishers. All rights reserved.