Men must endure their coming hither
As much as their going hence
Ripeness is all
Shakespeare, King Lear
How does death arrive?
In the same way as love
—when you least expect it.
And who dares guess the order of arrival?
Who dares dying before loving?
Who dares loving before dying?
Because love and death are one and the same.
One and the same the burning kiss with the cold tombstone.
One and the same your touch with the waning autumn
which burst in the room as you opened the door
[Manchester, May 25, 1997]