No, nothing could be done at all.
The town was crushed and devoured whole
by the unexpected force. The southern wall
fell down and destroyed nearly all my men.
The cavalry poured through the gap, and then
my soul retreated into her fleshly den.
It is hard to admit, but I totally blew it:
I was hit in the chest by the very first bullet
and stretched, my face in the muddy pool
sucked in by the uniform's gilded wool.
Lying there, I could clearly see
the upturned snippets of the cavalry –
the elongated hooves flying past my face,
competing in their apocalyptic race,
men's and horses' heads combined,
their muscular trunks grown together, entwined
so that a new and sprightly beast was born,
his unsheathed sabre stuck out like a horn.
The town was red, and the church was red,
the scarlet pastor lay in his ruby bed,
the wedding-guests marched overhead
in vermillion suits. Having signed his lease,
our flaming tenant walked out, and put on his
shapeless hat dripping with fresh cerise.
At this stage, I began to feel the pain,
under my head was spreading a claret stain,
I tried to move, or at least to moan,
but I was trapped in my head, alone.
The enemy soldier marched through
the hedge of my hands, with a banner blue.
The blue tower began its noiseless toll,
an indigo boy kicked an azure ball,
a cyan doctor was waiting in the icy hall.
Three large ladies wearing ultramarine
dresses were pricking me with a cobalt pin,
the half-blown church glowed like a tealish bin,
with a screeching clock lying deep in it,
the cerulean hands jerked along the split
sapphire face – and then the second hit
smashed it all. The soldier turned around,
the orange banner behind him, on the mound.
He went to his flaxen horse, but half way
through he stopped and spotted me as I lay,
gasping for air, on the amber hay.
I saw his momentous hesitation,
then he came up to me with a lemon gun,
pulled the yellow trigger, and I was done.
I sat for a while on a snow-white chair,
near the chalky church, and from everywhere
my mothers were coming, with milky hair.
One of them pulled out, for my sake,
a white rosary, which I was glad to take,
although I could clearly see it was fake.
The ivory beads were heavy and round,
they collided with a nice tingling sound.
I smiled, and at once it began to snow,
the flakes whirled downwards, lying low
on the white pastor who stood on the porch
of the immaculately shining church;
on the brightly lit wedding-guests who sat
around the white table, each in a milk-white hat;
on the transparent boys playing with a silver ball
which got stuck in the snow and refused to roll;
on the doctor, now indistinguishable from
the heap of fresh snow, which became his home;
on the white tenant climbing up the white dome
of the church, to get to his white-lit room;
on the large ladies who saw him plunge to his doom.
I never rose from my chair. I don't know for whom
I am talking. All the colours have mixed
into an incomprehensible mist.
The unlived moments, though I didn't die for
their sake, have become my life.
My life, if you want to be with me, I'm
always here. I have plenty of time.