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To the memory of Robin Williams

Tonight I thought I felt a shimmer of light
in the long uncut grass
of late summer, the untended lawn
bordering on the pastures—
untrammeled and open.

It felt as though there was a passing
through of a force, an intention,
an urgent and low singing at moonrise

and then I read of the great comedian,
his self-extinguishing;
I heard Transtromer’s line
“My friend, you drank some darkness”
and remembered one long day

when, bankrupt of hope and will
I drove up the interstate to the Day’s Inn
with a bottle of wine and an Rx of Valium;

how I then sat in that pale blue room for hours
at the desk, now and then getting up
to ponder the dust-mute bed
where I thought I would lie down
in the first scene of the drama
I had designed—

But I could see the mountains
and their cobalt blueness and my heart
reached for them as if I could dig my fingers
into their great round shoulders and pull myself
out of the rank slough where I lay weeping.

When death draws near it is quiet,
like a held breath; it is faceless,
odorless—an imminence swinging
like a vacant noose from a live oak bough,
waiting until after the fact to wreak
potent havoc, rain stones of grief.

I thought of my form struggling down
the rough-hewn stairs of Hades
half-sentient entity lost
to the animate world.

I knew then that someone within me
who had been singing her love to me
all the years
would jettison me from that room,

and it was so. I rose, and dressed
and found myself once more
in my pick-up, heading west
on Highway 14,
shaken and renewed
from my plunge into deepest
indigo waters.

Jenne’ R. Andrews