My Dearest Capulet,
As I write you in these waning hours
(The number of my sunrises and sunsets finite,
Easily counted upon either hand),
I do so resigned to the actuality
That this missive shall remain unanswered,
Most likely forever unread, but tell me, dear lady,
To who else would I address this,
For who else is more likely to understand
The horrible, awful truth that love and hate are not opposite poles,
But the hissing, slathering jaws of the dreadful two-headed snake,
Which, if not separated by a prudent interval,
Will consume the other and then itself.
I have lived and learned this quite well
(At the hands of teachers and other lesser men)
And pondered other questions of fatality and fidelity,
Surmising that rings of gold and fetters of iron
Are neither necessary nor sufficient.
If I have not come to peace with my fate, my distant soul mate,
I have at least procured a measure of acquiescence,
For I have known love and hate and death,
Known them thoroughly enough to comprehend
That they are not wholly separate entities,
And that they will often come
Wearing the formal attire of one of the others.
I have burned, brightly if not in illumination,
And now I am spent, and to go on much longer
Would be to do so as some spent celestial body,
Charred and rotating ever more slowly
Until a final, silent , unobserved obsolescence,
For after we have loved profoundly if not well,
What is left to us but the sepulcher?
(A late arrival to the Wednesday Challenge at Real Toads, though this post doesn’t embrace the letter of the challenge and only carries on a chaste flirtation with its spirit.)