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Everything I write for you
an elegy. The Mother of Exile
watched: She knows how far I
may get.

Bodies survive without water
for up to three days. So when
you left me skinsearching there,
rearing to feel a pulse, you came
to find the chest engorged.

It smelled like wax and scarcity.

In another era, only the blood
boiled counts. So surrender quietly.
Watch me undo the nerve-tears,
the fold, the thicket, the language
of pleading. We’re past consequence.

Just last year, we exchanged an act
of penitence. I grazed my ribs in
elastic and then you shaved all layers
second-before-blood. Constancy demands
us to reclaim even the minute

conditions of our birth. So I have you.

However so temporary. After the Act
our tissue stiffens. I breathe out
the purge. No secret of poverty
remains, as Mother calls this
keenness out. Your fingers left hung

by the trestle. Your vessel down the
northern hemisphere. Even the shallowest
parts of you may never come incarnate again.

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