Beauty or Death or Hate or Love,
which purchases my silence for you?
Not one, nor two, nor four, but three.
A glance and all would count Beauty.
A word of mine and Love is true.
Forswear, though, Hate by God above.
What but Death is left to comprise
the hushes of my wordless voice?
Yes, dead, and silent in demise
for the tongue no more stills by choice.
Dead, soundless by stiffness of heart;
living, mute to adore your grace;
In both, buried by empty space
where past phrases limned oral art.
Three have seized the name two once spoke,
but despots die, the lifeless live,
and all that sleeps may be rewoke
if the unspoken we forgive.