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Unless I grow green leaves
And scatter perfume and petals
I must remain myself,
Stuck in my body. Time

Scatters perfume, and stars
Cover the earth at midnight.
Stuck in a body, in time
I might become something.

Dawn recovers the earth,
Telling the same old story:
Everyone turns into something.
Can’t someone else shoulder

This same-told history?
It’s always the woman looking
Over her shoulder, some man
Chasing her past herself.

Looking back, she only
Slows herself down. The sun
Chases her past her present, into
Time she must outrun.

Slow down. Even a god
Can’t chase what won’t flee.
Tempus fugit. Don’t run.
Turn here, put your foot down.

Time can’t chase if I won’t fly.
I can’t become myself
Until I put my roots down,
Unless I grow green leaves.



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

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