1782 c/o Owen Vince

Air is lighter than words.
And words, themselves,
rise and fall, an ocean
of breath and breathing.
        When you stalked the halls
        of the first, long room I said
        'my brother isn't here'. He
        was not there but rather
                anywhere, above. He was in the garden
                among persimmon trees and watched
                as a line of washing, caught
                by the wind, was carried
                        into the sky. I have heard that death
                        by falling is serene, that you do not,
                        ultimately, feel the impact. Death
                        by fire is worse. Or, what if fire
                                were combined with air? Later my
                                brother recalled the city of Avignon
                                beset itself by fire and watched each
                                ember of the city distemper
                                        into the sky as borne by its breath the wind
                                        I said, 'brother, you are as light
                                        as the face of a dandelion'. That summer
                                        a statue of a man with a punched-in face
                                                was recovered from the clay-beds.
                                                Once, the body's dream was its heaviness.
                                                Once, I saw the balloon they made in the fallow
                                                field lift and its rope slip their fingers.
                                                Once, I watched this object rise
                                                and fall
                                        the way lungs are said
                                        to rise and fall. My brother
                                        now is as far away as the stars
                                        which, are said, to be light itself, unfiltered.
                                        In my dreams
                                        we are there each night, reaching to them.