THE ANSWER

Final Words by Maria L. Berg 2022

The Prompt

For yesterday’s poetics prompt at the dVerse Poets Pub, Laura challenged us to think about last words and choose some famous last words to inspire our poem.

The Poem

The Answer

“Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”
~ Karl Marx

How cruel and yet delicious
all those smiling, resting faces
all those relaxed, unworried death masks
forever frozen as last seen
in loving minds

How cruel and yet delicious
to know the time of one’s passing
to gather everyone ever loved together
to impart an answer
a lifetime sought

How cruel and yet delicious
the final not knowing but feeling certain
it will be there in time
feeling tongue-tipped and out-reached
seat-edged in life-searched readiness

How cruel and yet delicious
hearing gulps of held back sobs
tasting one’s own saliva, one’s juices
for a final time, becoming thick
with enzymes preparing for decay
smelling each familiar perfume
not disguising each unique sweat
visually sucking and sucking every
detail as if it will be the forever
memory: that cute sneeze,
that child’s whine,
that cuticle bitten,
that hair swept from that eye,
one’s own slowing, rattling breath and

then it’s there
it comes
the answer
THE ANSWER
electric, eye-bulging epiphany of all epiphanies
the room leans in edged, sharp
and everyone hears AH-HA!
before eyes dim, chest stills
and nothing more.

10 thoughts on “THE ANSWER

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