"That each protect the solitude 
of the other..."
           ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

In the abacus of years, a bent
vine, a jagged pearl: who 

strung it there? how did it calcify? 
Rubble scraped from the narrowest

rooms whose walls thickened 
with nacre— don't we wait 

like them every year for spring, 
or long for a returning? It's almost 

startling: how soft the sheen 
born from wildness and bruise; 

how the throb of a nerve or a pulse
cuts through silences beneath the skin.  

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