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The Lilies Break Open Over The Dark Water

ISSUE:  Autumn 1987

 that mud-hive, that gas-sponge,
  that reeking
   leaf-yard, that rippling

dream-bowl, the leeches’
 flecked and swirling
  broth of life, as rich
   as Babylon,

the fists crack
 open and the wands
  of the lilies
   quicken, they rise

like pale poles
 with their wrapped beaks of lace;
  one day
   they tear the surface,

the next they break open
 over the dark water.
  And there you are
   on the shore,

fitful and thoughtful, trying
 to attach them to an idea—
some news of your own life.
 But the lilies

are slippery and wild—they are
 devoid of meaning, they are
  simply doing,
   from the deepest

spurs of their being,
 what they are impelled to do
  every summer.
   And so, dear sorrow, are you.


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