Self-portrait, with What Remains

So much counting through the years, a tally
written then erased then rewritten on the sky's

flimsy paper. How much do I owe now, in the fourth
decade, in the fifth? The jasmine, too, has lost

count. A torrent of white blooms presses against
the fence, as if to say even the slightest skins

collect to make a weight that history registers.
Later, when the vine is cleared away, its dark

imprint remains on the surface: surely no one
can deny it once had a fragrant body, a shape.

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