Warning: Low-Impact Blows May Also Be Lethal

- after Odilon Redon, "The Black Sun" (c. 1900)

Blood too thin, too loose
as a child, you stand in the heat
and blanch then pale. A garland
of veins flaps inside its bell
jar, spurting blossoms with each
faint tap. Rapture is not 
what you think it is— not 
the quick explosion or pumping 
in air; not the deer and its trembling 
flanks before the headlights' glare. 
Beware the dark gleam between trees 
and the diaphragm of night. 
Through the day, pilea hold 
parasols out to catch any dappled
light. You remember being told: 
the only way to look at anything
that burns itself so deeply  
is to learn how to let its smaller 
constellations pass lightly
through your hands.

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