Stroke

Cut death in half
with your exquisite sword,
one edge of the blade 
a stroke of poetry,
the other an ink gesture 
hardly touching vellum
as the executioner,
it seems, barely brushes
your throat, so deft
and lethal is that
merciful hand...
Cut death in two,
one half the mirage
of this world, the other
a void, mother-like
and playful.

Painting: 'Shrike' by Miyamoto Musashi, 1584 – 1645