Augustus Young, DEATH (AFTER RILKE)

So here stands death, an azure infusion,
in a cup without visible support,
poised at the back of the wrist. Look, no hands!
It doesn’t matter that the handle’s broken.
Dust off the faded legend. It reads ‘Ho-pe’.

The designated drinkers see it as
the dregs of a breakfast they never had.

You can’t blame them for distancing themselves
from the idea of taking the poison.

But they can’t remain for ever engrossed
in the niceties of putting off
the evil day. They must be decisive.
Take out the harsh reality, like false teeth,
so they can babble on like a baby.

O falling star,
once seen from a bridge,
you are personal. Stand and watch.