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  • So, you've watched more pass than persist.
    Age is furrowed in your skin, a mirror
    of loam after combing. You have grown
    owl-eyed and pale, as if you know a secret way
    to pay Charon. That need for obolus or ornament
    is myth; the evidence of age is enough.
    Yet, a rose lei encircles your wrist, your teeth
    chafe the coin pinned there, rusting in damp coffin air.
    Someone must have loved you. You rose

    up from your irises; then lips and nostrils,
    stone-still. I heard you inhale, harsh
    as grotto walls, your soul quicksilver
    through your sun-stitched skin, the other side
    of life. November now. The curtains hum
    like a highway mirage. Look at that stem
    of a tulip in a vase, waves on that counterpane.
    Surely, it means only the wind is strong today.
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