I am dying.
I come to your door almost dead.
You are dying, too.
I come disguised as one living,
or nearly so;
you answer the bell as if alive.

And, for an evening sanctified,
you greet me, movie star or monster,
with delight,
and give me, princess or pirate,
good things.
So it should be.

We are dying, so soon, so sure.
Ourselves and not ourselves,
we come soon enough
to that little circle of light on the great porch
and are greeted with grace and feast.

Why not be alive while we may?
Why not meet each other now,
gruesome or glittering,
with good things—
before the day passes,
the candy is stale,
and our costumes are of no use?


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