“Like A Widowed Man Am I”

Like a recently widowed man
Remembering nights of unbearable passion,
Fighting the impulse to end it, unable to mend
The widening hole in his soul, so he goes out,
And the sight of couples in hand is a knife wound
The doctors can neither see nor heal,
For the doctors can heal only visible and outward wounds,
And thus the widowed man’s inward grief continues
On its gruesome path of self-destruction,
And as the fear takes told of him he takes a lover,
And as this new and unfaithful lover takes hold of her lover,
Her other lover, he shows up at her house,
Walks into her room, and sees her making love
With another man, and the pain of it commands him,
“Do something!” but he stands frozen
In the clutches of her infidelity, clutching
The carpeting floor and then gripping his own hair,
Ripping it out of his scalp, his suffering resistless,
His lover’s body and his dead wife’s body together consuming
His mind, in a fire to match his heart’s desperate fire
That will not die, and in agony he cries,
“Strike me down! Destroy me!” If only to go down
And out in tragic if futile glory, caught in the grip
Of forceful sorrow, imposing itself upon him
And tearing his fragile heart open
Like a lion tears open a gazelle—
Like a recently widowed man am I,
Though I am young and never married, and
There is no outward reason for me to feel such grief.
Like a widowed man am I.

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