Life Index

In an old story, the hero plunges
his body into a river after many
years of arduous travel; for his
purification, all the fish expire.
His mother weeps at the casual way
in which so much of the world
is sacrificed in the name of
what they call greatness.
At dawn, even the grasses seem
to flicker in the flame of a rising
sun. The vine she planted
beside the house post on the day
of his birth describes the two
ways chance cuts the cloth
of circumstance: the green,
waxy blade of a leaf is
the future's bold invention;
its speckled underside
is every wound he will have
to dress with his hands.

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