Whatever else we did or could have done,
or tried to think of when the time had come,
would always bring us to this place of stone,
cold and forgetfulness. There was the same
pain in our hearts as we would often have,
enough to mourn by, and in mourning thus,
we surely came to know the end of love,
its purpose and its only terminus.
And so we all were as we were before,
wanting to make of it what we could bear,
but realizing even so the lies
we liked to hear, about the galaxies,
and how the dead would send back light from them
more like a song than any requiem.

Michael Heffernan

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 11 Number 5, on page 42
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