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Breath and Depth of Field

ISSUE:  Winter 1980
Breath, as it leaves the seam of lips,
leaves something, prepares
small shafts of sun to slip in curtain folds.

In drouth snakes stole toward human damp,
found their way to teapots and cool twists
in basement windows where some moisture lingered.

Citizens started counting, the obsessed
searched their consciences, ordinary turns
of daily living became concerns outweighing death.

Where light and dark advance, depart,
what is touched, green as gardenia buds,
has also been tapped, new seeds firmly tamped.

Before the light of the kitchen lamp
you look like a monk, priest, penitent,
the shaft of dark which parts the one disguise
light has ever had to oiler.


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