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Amid the disquieting rush,
The various permutations
Of a moment are isolated,

Carved out by lamplight.
Twisted, contorted figures
Emerge like bas-relief

From an irrational, depthless
Space. The soldiers’ armor
Reflects like rain-wet char,

Like the moonlit ribbon
Of a slug’s trail, like mother-
Of-pearl. Jesus, embraced,

Leans back, fingers folded
Not in prayer, but interlaced
So as not to be torn asunder.

Homeless, displaced, the exile
Holds his ground, which is
To say, he is easily taken away.



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

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