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an old saying goes that we live out our days
clad in a shroud thrown over one shoulder

no need to be God
to confirm the mystical world of the spirit and angels
heaven and hell
the almond tree in full bloom
and all the rare people who speak on behalf of ineffable truths

to us all
we were given the gift to know
that secrets must exist for mystery’s sake

to be born with the passion for truth and beauty bound to the heart

to us all
the holy days of eternity
life force entrusted to what can’t be seen


Translated from the French by Nancy Naomi Carlson

Translator’s note: The first stanza refers to the Ihram attire worn by Muslims while on pilgrimage to Mecca.

All translated work in this issue is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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