In the Last Circle
The ethical distorted to a fury
Of self-deception, malice, and conceit,
Yourself the judge, the lawyer, and the jury.
I listened, but instead of proof, I heard,
As if the truth were merely what you knew,
Wrath cry aloud its wish and its despair
That all would be and must be false to you.
You are the irresponsible and damned,
Alone in final cold athwart your prey.
Your passion eats his brain. Compulsively,
The crime which is your reason eats away
Compassion, as they both have eaten you,
Till what you are is merely what you do.
When trouble bruises him whom I retrace
Back to the time I cannot know, I fill,
By my desire, the possible with grace
And wait your coming. Then I see my face,
Breathed by some other presence on the chill
Illumination of this mortal glass,
Gleam from the dark to struggle in your will.
In that fixed place, around me, others move,
Vivid with long conclusion, who, once dead,
Quickened the little moment I could prove;
And, though I seem to live, there, at my head,
As if the thought translating all I see,
He stands, who was my future, claiming me.