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Poetry

Time can be extinguished like a blown-out flame.
Black holes dissipate to God knows where,
Yet everything we’ve said and done remains

Like these lilies floating in this garden pool. Each name
We’ve said, each paper lantern strung, each cross we’ll bear
In Time can be extinguished like a blown-out flame

Yet floats forever here. It’s paradoxical. All loss is gain.
We think we’re still the people that we always were
Since everything we’ve said and done remains,

But all is spin and sparkle, wave and particle. “What came
Before? What happens next?” we ask. What currents stir
When time has been extinguished like a blown-out flame,

Dwarf lilies float dark randomness? If physics is a vein
Of order/chaos, chaos/order, likewise it’s a mirror
Of everything we’ve said and done. Nothing can remain

Beside this garden pool of scattered rain
And rising mist, and yet it does. What flowers here! We swear
Everything we’ve said and done remains
But Time can be extinguished like a blown-out flame.


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

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