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Birth


Until, as if bereft, a bell rings in the abdomen,
mourns. Call it a whiteout, call it a scalding,
justice licked by invisible flame.

The tongue, that bacon, forms a living word.
The fingers twist. There is a sorry way
the wrists have of no longer

bearing weight. The wool in the brain catches,
smokes. The burr of the heart crinkles to ash.
Still, the glory there, from the darkness,

a purple-fringed thistle, emergent, aloud.