Hanged Man, 1913

One cannot argue with the decisiveness
of a wooden beam. The fact of a roof slant.
Hard edges speak to finality, to a choice
firmly made. In Ryder-Waite, the hanged man
is head-down, suspended by a single foot,
The other leg crosses behind, a casual dangle.
It may be interpreted as surrender or sacrifice
or breaking old patterns. I see
a straight line between a painful present
and an ecstatic oblivion.
Another interpretation is suspended in time
and that’s what you became: a nameless man
cut from a rafter and laid in the ground
with no ceremony, no stone, nothing
to remember you but a scant entry
etched in a ledger: unknown male,
hanged himself, 11/4/1913. This
is your conclusion, to obscure yourself
in rest. A hundred years later,
I only know where you are, never
who you were. Old patterns broken,
a missed opportunity.