Prelude #15 in D-flat Major

Chopin

He wakes in sleep, sinking
through light beads filtered round

into the water’s depth.
The calm of death, of breath

slowing, leaving only
rain-backs spiraling soft,

a mirror edge rippling
the echo of bells. Strong,

their current rings lower—
how each pushes down deep

as the black whirlpool caught
in lovers’ eyes. The dark

bells toned to mourn can sing
of past, of now, of when

melody moves to hold
a life in its nets. Deep,

he floats deep, down, bottomed
in mind, in myth that breaks

both air and water sharp,
like creaks beside a death

bed. A closed coffin cuts
the length of road that leads

to graves. Few follow it,
his bier, down near the pond

where he drowns, deep, where he
dies, dark, and sees and sees

them pass, his past, and leaves,
and rain, all falling drop

by drop. The bells end, soft.
Dreams compose. Morning lifts.

Hawai’i Pacific Review, 2003