Neither/Nor: What Keeps You Here Neither burn nor quench Neither fire nor flame Neither me nor you Can escape the reality Of what time and death fears to do . . . the stray bird flew . . . Neither by force nor fade Neither servant nor slave Neither turn nor veer Neither ledge nor floor Neither void nor door Not century nor disease Neither rat nor fleas Not sumptuous Disease Nor bended knee Can separate the eternal you From the infinite me. You are the drug that Races to the brain – I am the mortician’s bloody drain. You are the spoon, I am the water. You are the lamb, I am the slaughter. You are the black smoke: My ultimate addiction, You are my favorite Provincial affliction. You are the pant I am the breath. You are the life, I am transcending My hobbled little death. Ni vire! Neither nor leaves space for that hangman’s opening in the earthly floor. Not by force nor fear, Not by noose kept near. Neither by oath nor compulsion Nor by blackmail emotional nor sick devotion - But by love’s sole desire to Protect Every hair on your head From what lays Stalking beyond both The living and the dead.