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17 juin 2023

(… was the last word my father, Shepard Levine, spoke to me; these words are in his honor…)

everything becomes your brow
an unfolding furrowed field growing barren
your creased dappled skin the sheets in which you lay

everywhere your twilit face
buried inside a self-portrait, then fainter
a sketch before sculpture

eyelight like receding suns
your pupils distant planets I watched pass behind the clouds through days of decrescendo
and days
and days

after days
your irides turned to porcelain blue-gray shields.

everything becomes your brow
even that slow-rising river of oak bark I crossed daily on my wait
the spot I touched with soft hand light
as you must have done so many times for a small forgotten me
my palm a salve, I prayed
warmth to appease the frown.

so much you have inspired…
and now with hallowed mind in hiding beyond
your body’s tides
just one last hypnotic task consumed you: in
out in out
dip into your lungs’ shallowing well

exhale inhale

you were peaceful, it seemed
just flickering just fading
gently unafraid

you greet me


again, again and always



Josh Levine, Juin 2019 juin 2023