Eulogy Contra Severance

for Zhiliang Zhang
after John Donne

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Like forlorn lovers who must part,
Eyes gazing on a fixed eye,
To distance futures they take heart,
As strangers they meet in the sky.

As ten long years have since elapsed,
Two mismatched spirits they've become.
Now parents with a childhood's past,
They no longer can return home.

So you, my father, leaves me now,
Through pains of hemorrhagic nail
And constant dysentery bowel,
You struggle on to leave a trail.

Silk soaked in oil is no more bright,
It shows no shine, gains but luster.
Scrub out hard pencil marks all night,
Still leaves the paths of erasure.

Thus written past is set in stone,
A ten year gap comes now, goes thence.
Future is but the past begun,
So what is death but ten years hence?

Like a pen tracing history,
On a seismograph rotating on
The Wheel of Life, a trajectory
Never makes twice the same pattern.

You stirred thus back and forth, your Life
Waning upon the bed, the street,
Love lost to bitterness and strife,
Fond remembrance of feat complete.

Cylinder spins as times pass by,
From right and left movements derive
A print of life, its low, its high.
Forever new skylines arrive.

It writes over every ten years
The track left by a previous self.
Heartbreaks relived have lost their tears,
Memories remain, feelings withheld.

The death that comes now, my father,
Is an old trail from which you stray,
Future of a child's past, before
We died a little bit each day.