Degringolade

Everything ends in a slide. Mallory
Climbed Everest because it was there.
He found out where it was! Most
People don’t know much about heart failure.
Imagine your bed is Everest, but
The fucking bathroom is on K2.
This can last for years. Of course,
The transplant coordinator could call.
She won’t. Still, at least it doesn’t hurt,
Per se—and in an age where most of us
Give or take must pass this way, the
Sword’s white flash is held obscene.
“Freedom, free to slay herself, and
Dying while they shout her name—
Roaring London, raving Paris
In that point of peaceful light.”
Everything ends in a slide. Hillary
Said: it is not the mountain we conquer
But ourselves. Then he died of heart failure—
At home in Auckland, where I was once held
For four hours in the passport box,
While someone tried to figure out
If I was a dangerous extremist. Poetry
Is wasted on this wasted age. Maybe
I am? Whatever the ocean will bring.
In the end, it turned out, your heart,
Sound in the left’s thick squeeze,
Blew out the right’s thin balloon.
Before the pest, we even snorkeled.
You could still fly with lazy grace
Over the blue skin of turtle heaven,
Where I returned to scatter you—but
“Funeral homes these days.” The cardio
Doc said: in right failure, they
Do fine for a long time, then just
Slide off a cliff. In the end, your
Degringolade took all of two days:
The finest gift you ever gave me.
Death as a short amusement ride,
A waterpark slide without the exit—
You crossed your legs, and were gone.
Honestly I never wanted to look it up—
And you yourself would die so alive,
We didn’t even have a fucking will:
In this cold hell an almost victory
As our country lies on Everest’s bed.