EINSTEIN’S LAST WORDS
(Einstein died on April 18, 1955, attended
by a nurse who could not understand
his last words, which he spoke in German.)
Surely it must have been a simple thing,
that sort of phrase the ordinary old
would say, child-like, such as “More light” or “Bring
me, please, water” or “Close the door” or “Hold
my hand” or “I was wrong” or “What’s the time?”
Perhaps it was a line or two of verse
from Faust, or a nonsense nursery rhyme
that curved around to close his universe.
And if all it was was a little joke,
of a man meeting God in Paradise,
and God laughed at it, even then he spoke
to himself. Two silences must suffice.
It is a hand on the heart,
It is mortality grinning,
dumbly, with its big,
hearty hand on the heart,
mortality in person,
squeezing the heart
with its big, hot hand.
And then it becomes
the heart remembering
from its infancy,
its childhood and its youth,
separations in the dark,
nightmares of falling
and chases through forests,
unrequited love for heroines
of books and movie stars,
an ache in the shape
of a hand holding such
a heavy heart heart-level
and too long to bear.
It is Latin for torture.
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