The Passing of Réchetthaerielle

 

Winds: Blow!
Blow your agony, blow your anger, your fear!
Whip me with your merciless lashes; I have no strength to whip myself.
For one of the great ones is gone,
and the world will not see her like again.
Winds: Blow, blow until you are spent,
spent like the breath of my one, my dove,
my only, my love:
spent like the breath of Réchetthaerielle.

Skies: Snow!
Spit icy rain, your crystal knives, unrepentant cold.
Lay your frigid blanket upon my senseless frigid skin.
For one of the great ones is gone,
and the world will not see her like again.
Skies: Snow 'til you cover the earth,
'til you cover the earth that covers the face of my one, my dove,
my only, my love:
that covers the face of Réchetthaerielle.

As if I could command the tempest.
I, who have no strength.
I, who bellow out my pitiful whimperings and rage in my snifflings,
who am less than contemptible to myself.
Summon your strength, O foolish man! Summon strength, O weak!
Command the wind to blow, the skies to snow.
As if you could.

Oh, stop your tongue, foolish man; let your mouth be shut.
This is not the time to think of you.
This is the time to think
of her.

I remember the last time I saw her face:
her face, stretched paper-thin against her teeth and bones,
stretched like a mask of death across her living soul,
which threatened at any moment to slip from her moorings free,
which finally she did.

Whose face is this, I wondered? Where is the face of my dove?

But I saw in her fast-dimming eyes and her paper-thin smile
that she seemed to hold me in that regard
which could only be reckoned Love.

And I wept--wept like a baby, I nearly said--
but what babe could e'er weep who had never yet known
Joy and Sorrow, Love and Loss,
the weight of a thousand empty days stretching out before.
I wept, I wept, I wept like an old man.

I remember the last time I heard her voice:
the ghost of a voice, scarcely more than a breath.
Words she spoke to me, words that are mine alone,
which I will jealously guard against enemies all:
feebleness of mind that should cruelly snatch them away--
those final treasures of a blessed, treasured time.

Whispered words she spoke:
frail comforts for
a thousand empty days.

Tears: Flow!
For though she now walks with the Blessed, she does not walk with Me.
Weep for the hole in your belly, your incurable wound.
For one of the great ones is gone,
and these eyes will not see her like again.
Tears: Flow, flow unabated, unabashed--
for to you it belongs to mark the passage of my one, my dove,
my only, my love:
passed from this world is Réchetthaerielle.

 

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