He turned the fourteenth glass and said, “Begin.”
and I had fourteen minutes left to live;
and I had fourteen unrepented sins,
and fourteen people whom I would forgive,
and fourteen unread books upon my shelf,
and fourteen loves I knew I’d loved in vain,
and fourteen dreams I’d kept within myself
(the fourteen I’d most wanted to explain.)
But fourteen minutes quickly passed away.
I filled my pen with fourteen drops of ink-
the fourteenth glass had offered one delay;
and fourteen final grains retained the brink.
This sonnet flowed like fourteen final breaths-
the fourteenth line, the fourteenth grain, then death.