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Nautilus

Laurie Klein

Imagine a cloister walk
spirals within us, a micro galaxy
born of brine, a portal—if
we think ourselves small enough.

Where walls arch, mother-of-pearl
entombs parasites and
echoes a sea of bygone pain
made luminous. Our passage

snakes and narrows,
downsizes complaint to a wraith
enrobed in sheen. Lord knows,
we’ve met reapers like those who

farm these quiet mollusks
for blister pearls, jab small beads
into tender places.
We face them too, hopefully

learn compassion. At the hub,
let us begin brailling
our way back, toward constancy, and
a night pearled with stars.

 
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