Our is, our are, our am—all melt away
To was and were, the markers of a grave.
The sweet infinitives we hope to save—
To sing, to cheer, to love, to kiss, to play—
Prove finite: for to die will end their stay.
Carousing, feasting—gerunds that we crave—
Collapse when dying claims both fair and brave.
Permissive modals— might and can and may—
All vanish when stern must makes die our fate.
Our firmest sentences are all interred;
Our strictest syntax will disintegrate
Unless our phrases end in one sure Word:
The very parsing of our prayers will damn
All speakers not dissolved in the I AM.