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Instead of Alaska

Flowers next to her hospital bed exhale sweet rot and the violence of desire. 

That we would cut down rather than let go, unhand what feels precious. 


Forgetting to remember we will forget, we learn to wrestle growing things. 

Unearth their lightless fingers and toes beneath lacquered daylight sky


and wonder why we ache. But I do not wonder. I walk my innermost banks

to find a velvet-edged flame, silent but never still. Brilliant as an unknown star


sent to cross the universe. Trace the arc of creation further, further, further. 

Petals make rings on the linoleum and wait to be swept. Desire to dust again.