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The New Criterion

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- John O’Sullivan


March 2013


by Wilmer Mills

When I die and breathe my last,
It won’t be in or out.
I’ll take my final breath,
Hailing the silence of glass,
Glass that isn’t a solid,
But slowly cooling back
From molten silica,
The unheld breath of time.

Once dead, I’ll see the moon
As close as my hand, like this.
Who cares if there’s any water
Trapped inside its rocks
Like all the water trapped
In Bible stories, water
God brooded over, parted,
Walked on, turned to wine?

I’ll see the story of time
Made clearly visible;
I’ll see my final breath
Annealing, a miracle
Of clarity, of silence
Of water’s opposite,
A perfect silence drawn
From my blood, my noise.

Wilmer Mills (1969–2011) published the poetry collection Light for the Orphans in 2002.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 March 2013, on page 23

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