“Each man kills the things he loves.”
-Oscar Wilde, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”
He’ll empty out the moon
searching for the shine in her eyes,
though he abandons in his wake the broken glowing shell.
He’ll pluck all the world’s roses
seeking the bloom in her cheeks,
though he knows that they, too, will wither and die.
He’ll spend a fortnight ringing church bells
hunting for the spirit in her voice,
though the bells, overused, will fall out of tune.
He’ll squint at books by candlelight,
reading between the lines to find the eloquence in her words,
though he tears out the pages for a better look.
He’ll dart like a shadow to the bed where she lies,
running his fingers over cool granite stone
to trace the letters of her name,
though his fingers, after time, will wear them smooth.