Matilda lays out the cards while Neil lays sick and sleeping,
As the early winter sunlight grows sickly pale on the floor creeps
To another clear and starry night, the moon no longer granting wishes.
The queen of hearts, the 9 of diamonds and the suicide king.
Her mind makes these random shadows the glorious revelation
Of the fate of the coming dawn, the half seen promise of Eden.
She is coughing, sweaty with fever and their paradoxal chills.
She knows he’s tethered by a lifetime of love and shared dreams,
But silk fades with impatient starlight. She won’t be far behind.
The 3 of hearts, the 2 of spades, and the jack of clubs, even this
Can make the words come to her, the magic of creating in loss
And the solace that it still moves the sun in the night coming forever.
Matilda puts away the deck, listens to Neil shudder and cough, go silent.
She’s got the sickness to, but she’ll be able to take him by the hand to
The gates of the garden, watch him fade into it’s everlasting light.
Outside, the stars are bright and whipped into great pale clouds.
They last for eons and shine across the endless darkness, come here,
But one day they too will be gone, lost forever, all light goes.
The last of the brandy, drunk cold but without ice, she shivers
And coughs and shakes, but what glory in the snow and bare trees
And clear sky, and the hope that maybe she’ll see Neil in that warm garden