The Double Edge

There is no shame in not surviving.
Even as the blood is let out
honor and grace enter the vein.
All heroes die for credibility.
As for being a saint, Miguelo,

it is too late. Oh how
you have worked to perfect your limbs
more shapely than the crucifix
though you were never kissed in reverence.
Your feet are not washed in tears.

Miguelo, you paint grey walls
with a spurt of red night sky.
Your artful spirit becomes a spilled puddle
from the heart. The sanguine revelation is an avenue
for life’s trespass into inanimacy.

Do not think it was for nothing.
Your liberator from another block
walks into the shower, his orange jump suit on,
And is rid of the stain but not the image—
your eyes releasing thirty years of life

and the unsteady weight of frustrated dreams.
You said nothing to the knife.
You still stare as one who sees the other side
and is made mute. He saw
The secret in how light flows

from the iris, the illumination
that silhouettes what we are:
either a tender love released as a completion,
or a cocoon encasing vital pain
refitting it into joy.

And I was there too,
reflected on the cold blade.
It was me that entered you
and untethered your spirit,
which rode your last breath out, like a butterfly.