Robin Williams, In Memoriam

And so we shall speak

of when we know, and how

what memories come quickest

and which bewildered fact

came crashing down

as we lay in bed, fighting sleep

–all cells screaming

–agony of red corpuscles


Death in its particulars

swells to metaphor

this particular choice of ending


and then the why’s diminish

and the answers to our several questions

seem already obvious

in the asking

the trite and true–

depression, exhaustion, the man was

simply tired


When a great clown dies

laughter rings false for awhile

and tears feel painted on

and while the carnival moves on

there’s something awkward in the motion

the elephant walks without feet

and the acrobats tumble through no air

and the trapeze, instead of springs

rests on the soft and rotten

Breathe, we must breatherw

filling lungs replete

with atmosphere

as the candy melts

and the hay turns black

and celebrity is finally skin

impermanent without

and hollow within


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