Death Is High

(1984)

"Death Is High" is the fifth and final song in Bowles's song cycle Gothic Suite, which sets the texts of Tennessee Williams.

Death Is High
by Tennessee Williams


Death is high. It is where
the exalted things are.
I know, for breathlessness
took me to a five-pointed star.
I was exalted, but not at ease in that space.
Beneath me your breathing face cried out,
Return, return.
Return, you called while you slept.
And desperately back I crept.
Against the ascending fall.
It was not easy to crawl against
those unending torrents of light,
all bending one way.
And only your voice calling Stay!
But my longing was great
to be comforted and warmed
once more by your sleeping form
To be for a while no higher
than where you are, little room,
warm love, humble star.


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