Letter to a Dead Artist

Now neither of you is alive except in my head
and the heads of a few others:
the one I betrayed—
whom life proceeded to treat no better than I did-
and You, of all seducers surely the most seductive,
the expert agent of my eager treachery,
whose permanent absence is a pothole I stumble into daily.
It is hard to confront, my accomplice gone, what I cannot cancel.
It is harder still to concede that you took with you
intact the secret of your motives, purposes,
the Great Unknown taking off for the Great Unknown,
leaving the doctoral candidates
to their work of explaining yours
and me to remember today your persistent warning
that you didn’t like to be watched as you slept.