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If a shadow appears in darkness the darkness must be light

—Shannan Mann

If a shadow appears in darkness the darkness must be light

I am alarmed by my own name,

a shark fin slivering the ocean 

of these nights between us.


Your voice is all song in love,

prayer in pain. Again, a filthy

feather has blown by our window.


The book of omens gives this

no name. I bend beneath water,

bend beneath your pain, dream


about bridges, airplanes, Bombay

rain foaming all the creatures

of the ocean to its surface.


Slow-dissolving — this poison

in my veins. When I questioned

you, you told me your name. 


There is no destiny in the stars,

keep your afterlife in the back

pocket. I have no deck of cards,


no matchsticks, no mantras —

what flame will I bathe

the evil eye in? Once more, 


once again, let me show you how 

to spell my name. Everything begins 

in silence — to let it end the same?

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