that i have known the dead

that I have known the dead and now I’m
dying
as they spoon the succotash and
noodles
into a skull
past
caring.

that I have known the dead and now I’m
dying
in a world long ago
gone

leaving this is
nothing.
loving it was
too.

that I have known the dead and now I’m
dying
fingers thin to the
bone,
I offer no
prayers.

that I have known the dead and now I’m
dying

dying
I have known the dead

here on earth
and elsewhere;
alone now,
alone then,
alone.

–Charles Bukowski