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Orphan or heir-apparent,
did it plummet from heaven
or work its way up
through the fissures of the earth?

Was it chipped from a dollhouse window
or a diamond fjord?

If the deepest bass virtuoso
intones the nethermost D,
will this sliver fly off to reunite with its source,
setting off a flood of healing
in the vitreous universe?

Or will it one day split open,
send out hypertrophic sprouts and runners,
glazing the world
with a lamina of leafage?

Must such a marvel
be destined for marvelous things,

or might we yet hope
that exile will abrade and dull it,
rendering it painfully
visible at last?

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

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