You killed a man here once, where the road bends,
and buried him bare in the dirt. I saw you.
You shrugged your shoulders, told me everything ends,
like he was a thing. It hurt. I said, you know,
he was a person, too; pulled myself in tightly,
looked away, and you were sorry, then. I felt it settle
at the small of my back like warm cloth, apologetic,
in discord with your rhythm as you dug, frenetic,
his grave. You were sorry for me, that was all; not
the dead man you threw under the sod to rot
and I knew that - but, still. You were my pole star, even then;
I trusted you not to kill innocent men
without good reason, even if the reason were a thing
that had gotten inside of them, somehow; choked them up like wisteria.
You smelled of gunpowder, even under the soap; under the blood.
Some nights we braved the chill together, sprawled out on the hood
of the car, studying constellations. I loved the new moon, then,
its blank black canvas in which stars stood clear.
On nights like those I knew no pain, no fear
that you could not eradicate, somehow. You had your ways.
God, a penny for my thoughts of those old days,
before the world began to turn inverted.
You killed a man here, once. I remember.
It was, I think, early Fall, late September.
I was seventeen, and you were reckless and everything.
You left no traces, too well-trained for that already,
except in me - in my mind. If you were to open me up, unfold me,
I wonder: what would you find?
Too much of yourself, I suspect. Too many of those traces
you thought, you wish, were hidden: too many places
where the parallel lines of us touched, intersections
that should have been impossible. We've never been bound by rules,
you know that. You haven't the right to be surprised, but I think you would be.
I think you forget how much of yourself you left in me,
how much of you I buried, unquestioning. I was your accomplice, once.
I killed a man tonight, where the road bends. It hurt.
You quirked your mouth, said everything ends, and in the dirt
you stowed him for me, made his bed,
as I have made so many for you in my head, for all the many misdeeds
I have seen and forgiven. You need that, I think. You would not
lay yourself to sleep unshriven, and I am your only god.
You buried my body for me under the sod, and I
Once, I remember, I thought that I could save you,
but I was very young, then. We are this, now: we are we,
the hollow men, but not unshriven. You bury my bodies, and then
we're both of us forgiven.
We killed a man nearby, where two roads cross.
You buried the body. We did not mourn the loss.