Last Words by Greg Watson

Last Words

In the end, I don’t need to know what your last words might have been — whether some sly, unassuming wisdom, cry of anguish, or blasphemy — before your body offered up its last and holiest secrets. For you, a man who conserved words as if allotted only a handful in this life, one silence leading into another would seem fitting. The endless books of quotations and insight, the intricate wounds coughed up as speech, we must now leave for others. Even the words I wrote after your death, winding them into a pencil-thin scroll to be fed into cemetery dirt, somehow elude me now. Their mystery is yours, their meaning gone back into darkness. Let it remain so. Let me learn, if anything, the grace of saying nothing at all.

by Greg Watson

Editor’s Note: This prose poem uses imagery very sparsely, but where it does, the impact is all the more startling.