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ashes darker, larger
———this year the cross

crossing my forehead,
———crossing the ashes

I will become, dust
———from which

to which I will go, my
———life smaller

each year, my life
———my little soul-skin



Martha Collins’s eleventh book of poems is Casualty Reports; her tenth, Because What Else Could I Do (both from Pittsburgh), won the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award.



Photo by Ahna Ziegler on Unsplash

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