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Introit

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Midnight, stillness:

July’s seared page turns and a breeze

Lifts over the garden of weary roses.

I step out over patchwork grass–

,

This is our hour, the moon climbing into the heavens,

Contrails and comets, the Big Dipper—quien sabe’–

The universe itself so carelessly lovely

As if a diffident god had cast pearls all about

For no good reason.

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If God hears the hungry and the desolate

If God bears the suffering of the world,

I don’t understand, I cannot imagine

What heart could absorb it all, the bereft mother animals

Lowing in the dark.

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Where does the sorrow in the world go, the child in me asks.

Into the dark holes in the sky?

Is it fuel for a fire at the edge of time,

Does it fan the flames of hell

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Does it become water, does it reappear

As mirth when a child is born

Is it a chimera exulting

in the proliferation of graves?

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But, I say to her, we were happy a second ago,

Wrapped in the wet and shaggy rapture

Of the animals that love us

And see out into the night

Deeply content, built of responsiveness and bone

Without dilemmas like ours.

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