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don't place coins on my eyes when i die
but let them stay open, so the dying light of the day
can fly through those windows one last time
though the furniture be cleared---
isn't a sunbeam great?

the trees in front of the city are hundreds of years old
tall, thick, and gnarled but elegantly pruned
here under them by the steps
it is hard to reconcile with the view from afar

corridors up between the buildings
bundles of wires running along the wall
steps up and down, stained from water
falling toward the drains, past quiet apartment doors
each with its own color and frame

we don't know how to absorb it all
these living relics of those who have ultimately surrendered
this story we are writing even as we read
this world we are swept up in like a flood
cars and mud and the roaring of a billion gallons of sea
pouring down the steps, into the shops

on the beach we stare out over the ocean
or worship the sun through shuttered portholes
as the waves breathe the kneading of sand
reducing the mountains and our minds to nothing
and the wind, to our ears, whispers its long-held secrets

when one eye looks at the past
and the other looks at the future
what room is there
for now?

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