Dead word

Mother, dead word in the mouth that sings
the passing of life. And I go on burying her in me,
in the least and the most: in the water I drink,
in the fear I nurture, in the blood that goes on being
what I am, in the ringing of my silence, in the pure
aroma of what is rotting, in the hair that fades to
white, in the gaze that wanders far, but returns
bloodshot, in the low sharp note of the voice, in the skin
that breaks, in the art I attempt, in the slow
silence that whispers in the centre of the falling night,
erasing the palms of the hands that applaud,
that write and die like all else.