Along the coast, more whales 
have been reported coming ashore
this year than in others. Bats 

swoop through humid skies above
the swamp. Couldn't mistake this place
for anything but south. Dismal fringe

of dying vegetation— and yet. 
Every now and then you want to drop 
the necklaces you wear, or at least 

their pendulous weights... Fold 
and fold, so a square morphs into 
a triangle. Grids are not what you're
after. Have you felt the satisfaction 
of cutting away, then being rewarded? 
In the center of each star, a node 

for branching. Just when you think 
paper could take no more, it yields 
feather and web, the shape of what 

could fall through the sky to catch
on your sleeve. Keep one if it should
land on your tongue, and close 

your eyes. Loneliness is just one 
letter from loveliness. Open your eyes 
before steam blurs the clear, sharp edges. 

Pretend you remember what it's like to be 
the first to score a field of white 
with your steps, how your weight 

presses softly into powdery snow. Quiet 
wind smooths your tracks afterward; no one 
would know you were even there. Reversals 

are difficult to engineer, so when they happen, 
they feel like otherworldly intervention. Sometimes 
that's the way the dead send letters from wherever 

they've gone. Tell yourself they only want 
to feel something of them survives. Under 
a canopy, a coppice, a cross-hatched thicket— 

Vague sense of being adrift in a time without 
time. White on white on white until the world
can silver. Xysts become the quitest

promenades. You don't have to be happy or un-
happy; don't have to be whole to be here. Zygotes 
birth such fragile stars, bonding water and air.


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