The Garden of Earthly Delights

  He is imminent, they have told us, a softer way of saying
he is about to die, like the words passed away, passed
to a place that is far, not here, cannot or will not
say where. Passed, as if through a threshold, to a place
we cannot follow, unknown to us. He died. It has a thud
to it, a spade of soil, the two d’s standing at either side
like bookends, died, bracing the solitary i, the self & the e,
his initial. His signature, a perfect birdswoop of wings.
           And taking him by the hand, he flexes his fingers in his sleep,
as if strumming guitar strings, notes that resound
in the caves of Sacromonte, geraniums in clay pots.
A puzzle on the table, half completed, all that blue & green,
grass & sky, tiny naked bodies, towers of fleshy fruits, a carousel
of dancing animals, & from somewhere comes
the music of a guitar, notes played by an unseen hand.
The adagio echoes in that whitewashed cave as we watch him pass.

From Relinquenda: Poems by Alexandra Lytton Regalado. Copyright © 2022 by Alexandra Lytton Regalado. Used with permission from Beacon Press, Boston, Massachusetts.