Executed by firing squad, 1916, after refusing to return to the trenches
And as the intimate bullet enters the kerchief pinned and fluttering at my breast white as a moth, ash-innocent, I shall think of the stars that doomed me, amniotic flecks, flint-castings harrowing at dawn the iron shell I cannot enter, cannot enter ever again. For hear me, I was born too far from beauty and have always been away, a child who sought in soundless things, painted butterfly or spotted mole, the soul of beauty. They eluded me. Man was the destiny I fell to, do not call it fear that I refuse to put it on. Once I knocked I heard the clicking shut of doors down corridors forever. Hell is like that. You can hear it in the dawn in the dark disconsolate labyrinthine scream of shells my memory’s almost become. Hell is the echo of a quiet I dreamed that haunts me nightly, dogs me as a child will dog his mother’s shadow. Now we speak of shades. I am becoming one with time, the rifles cocked, my brothers in a line like ripening corn—all ears, all ears— I pity them. Would I were not the cause. I would not add to this eternity of noise.