A FINAL UNPLEASANTRY
...There are /unpleasantries for which no euphemism has been /assigned. There’s no controlling this, /that the body fails, that we are scared, and revulsion /lets us turn from the fear fondling us. --- From “Content May be Disturbing” by Hannah Stephenson, The Storialist, 09-01-11
Poverty of language must be a polite way
of defining this dread of the undiscovered,
an undefined fear of what we think we know
but cannot really know until we get there.
But haven’t we softened it away by talking
about someone “passing away, going ahead,
crossing the Great Divide, going gently into
that good night?” What’s wrong with these?
He kicked the bucket, he cashed in, croaked,
gave up the ghost? He’s dead, the bastard!
That last one must have been an expletive
from an anxious praetorian on Golgotha
wondering why it took the crucified man
all that time to die before woefully bewailing
how in his time of need, he was abandoned:
Father, father! Why have you forsaken me?
Nothing can be as fearful as that despair,
nothing uglier. No masking of loneliness
can erase the sting of dying, though poets
now sing: Death shall have no dominion.
---Albert B. Casuga