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  • At fifteen, I read an allegory
    about a girl who climbed a mountain,
    beset by Pride and assaults of Loneliness.
    She was crippled, but assisted by Suffering and Sorrow.

    At the top, she asked to be bound to an altar
    so a savior could pull the many-tendrilled weed
    of Human Love tightly wound around her heart.
    It almost killed her to have it removed.

    After this, she was no longer herself,
    but joined the creatures of the allegory,
    her new name a phrase, her legs those of a deer.
    Everything was Grace and Glory and Joy and Peace.

    I cried and cried, reading this book,
    because I was fifteen and full of desire.
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