Elegy for Christopher Hitchens, Whom I Only Met Twice

I say mystery is the only certainty
That embracing nothingness
as hard as you did those big
bear arms around the dissipating void
so all the stars squeezed out the sides
you made Nietzsche look
like the crybaby punk
he actually was infected with syphilis
and so forth who said god
is dead and remains dead and we
killed him talk about
Oedipal guilt, which you
spat out like an apple’s
arsenic pit

The time I met you first
in London on a green lawn
under a tent with a crowd of swells
you snarled were a bunch of tits
I swear you made me want to start
drinking again and hissing
dragon-smoke from my throat

You were one of the big
right-wing boys who wore scorn
like a deb does a designer scent
and I hung on the edge of your small clutch
a newly baptized Catholic antique
come from a candlelit chapel an hour
spent talking to dolls since I never
was a child and must be now, must

for a time remain
on this side of the grass and you
that and ergo I speak free of your smart
smackdown: If you got to claim
you entered the Great Nothing
I hereby announce you went to live
with sweet baby Jesus
or else no punk gets to say
nothing though what anybody says
matters not one whit next to what
actually IS which is eternal
as you now are Nietzsche Eliot
old Philip Larkin–you now
know what they knew
and I know naught but loss
and its multiples the only
other certainty being mystery.

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