Wept - C.K. Williams

A Non Religious Funeral Reading

Never so much absence, though, and not just absence,
never such a sense of violated presence,
so much desolation, so many desperate last hopes refuted,
never such pure despair.
Surely I know by now that each death demands its own procedures of mourning,
but I can't find those I need even to begin mourning you:
so much affectionate accord there was with you,
that to imagine being without you is impossibly diminishing;
I relied on you to ratify me,
to reflect and sanction with your life who I might be in mine.
So restorative you were, so much a response:
untenable that the part of me you shared with me shouldn't have you actively a part of it.
Never so much absence, so many longings ash, as you are ash.
Never so cruel the cry within, Will I never again be with you? Ash. Ash.