Elegy for John Ashbery

If I willed it,
would this elegy envelop
every perception
in swatches of gray?
Nothing to say
now, for yesterday
stormed in and stole
the voice which could
shape them into phrases.
You held my breath,
and carried it with you,
page by page,
until the pages burned away.
Before I ever was,
you held my breath.
And in death, you hold it still.

-r. miller

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