Death of an Actress

by Colette Bryce

She has, as chimney sweepers, come to dust.
And bitten it. She has given up the ghost
and lies in cold obstruction there to rot
where angelstubs perfect untimely frost,
now she. Frights me thus living flesh
does yield soft saply to the axe’s edge.

Has gasped her last, pegged out, gone west.
Mislaid the future like a set of specs
or a loop of keys. Has booted the bucket,
dimmed her light to the glownub of a wick
and snuffed it, passed unto the kingdom of perpetual
night, hooked up with darkness as a bride.

Shuffled, mortal. Crossed the Styx into
history. She has joined the great majority,
sloughed off her body like a costume coat
discarded on the carpet. Dearly departed
sleep, bed down with beauty slain
and beauty dead. Black chaos comes again.