even falling knowing already he was dead, and how much I pray to myself I want not, ever,
to know this, how much I want to ask again why I must, with such perfect, detailed precision,
know this, this anguish, this agony for a departing self wishing only to stay, to endure,
knowing all the while that, having known, I always will know this torn, singular voice
of a soul calling "God!" as it sinks back through the darkness it came from, cancelled, annulled.
C.K. Williams's Flesh and Blood won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in 1987. His latest book, Selected Poems, was published in 1994.