From birth screwed tight, I writhed inside my soul.
Now like a screw I fill a twisted hole.
I who once dealt in words and set great store
On words have, in a word or two, no more.
Too late. The Hell I threatened cannot hurt you.
The wordless worm best knows how to convert you.
Friend, though you call, you will not find me in.
My tombstone? Just an answering machine.
Does misery love company? So they say.
But how am I in misery? Keep away.
In compost lying low, composed in face,
I scribble briefs for Jesus, just in case.
I who could once erect a throbbing bone
Salute you now with rigid, skinned-back stone.
And here you stand and stare while minutes fly.
Time lessens you. But less, still less am I.
Friend, you are only one. Whole hordes have died.
Why try to fight? The odds are on our side.