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What is the difference in weight
between two stones. One drowns you,
the other is a trifling inconvenience.
Any discrepancy measures roughly
the width of a tongue. Who deserves
even a dram of such mercy if every
promise is a mistake in translation.

For example, say sin, and everyone’s
interpretations vary greatly. But, I remain
unsatisfied and here I stand, in danger
of arriving to eternity bankrupt and prodigal
having wagered on too many Argonauts.

I know what animates fools, those who
immediately turn to examine doors
after closing them, who stand in front of
the sun to prevent the arrival of red light
as the way to make things golden.

Now, I have nothing to pawn but grains
of sand. The only fortune I deserve is
a candle and everything appears in half-light,
like a kind of perpetual autumn. I can see
only the hall leading here. I eat tallow
like manna for fear that mercy will come
and drag me away hungrily into the dark.

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

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