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Short Reprise for Emily Dickinson

dear miss dickinson, did you ever stand
on the far shore, of a misty lake
and wonder what hid in the
vaporous smoke,
see your reflection in a
clear patch of glass
and wonder when you had become
someone else

dear miss dickinson, did you keep
mirrors, in your house,
do you know the shape
of your eyes,
do you know the
slant of your brows,
the demure part of your
dark, drawn hair
the girlish structure of your
thin, sparrow bones

did you hear their whispers
over the fence
of how you looked like a
gauzy ghost
a slip of white in the
longest night,
the flower-girl of
the distant fog

did it thrum, in your veins
the rush of
exigent prose
the language on the
tip of your tongue
that beat, like a heart
when breathing’s quick

and when the Bright took you
in the end
did you finally see
the other shore,
did you break through the
winter brume
to where our latest Lost
are found again

and when you laid in the
vermilion dawn
and breathed your last
terrible breath
did you dream of
other worlds
outside the oft-
untraveled door

or were the worlds
inside your head
quite enough
for you?



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