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Knowing life grinds us,
And dust
Is what we’ll become.

Sensing, likewise,
That the moral
Of our story
Has to do
With being mortal.

Yet love grounds us.

And the beloved
Grows in us:
We are her slow cocoon.

And the poem is a door;
The song, a little window.


Bowed by a ceaseless wind,
How can the mountaintop
Pine unbend itself?

Beloved crouched down
In order to survive—

All his joy kept inside;
As if holding her breath
An entire lifetime.


River inside the river.
World within the world.

All we have is words

To reveal the rose
That the rose obscures.


Doesn’t the world demand
We dance?
Doesn’t it insist on it?
And why not?
At the leaves,
Look at the weeds.
Look at the least blade
Of grass in the breeze.

None of them begs off
Or offers excuses.

None of them refuses.

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The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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