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  • That it beats at all, first, is a wonder. That it beats still, after the loss of my brother, my grandparents, my uncle Kerry, my Nannie, my friend Tommy Brady who died on a sled in sixth grade, after my mother's cancer. As if punched repeatedly in the chest--swollen with sorrow, crushed by joy, fallen and dropped ripe, God! Inside this body. Every breath draws more of that mysterious element to the surface, a great pulley system that dips into an endless well. Let me not mistake this creature sitting on the bed as all. Just because the senses warrant infinite exploration--being one possibility for it--wouldn't they do best to remind me of the unfathomable reaches of that? If John Keats was, in his youth anyway, "half in love with easeful Death," I am absolutely swept into the clench, the hiccup, the cough of Life.

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