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by Mary Lambert
Somber midnight, when thoughts run close to the floor
and mothy wings flutter, printing ash beneath Poe eyes;

the chain moves and we gather inward, condensing.
The gut tightens in a deep and scary place. The womb
of the nadir yawns, beckoning.

Lamplight haloes safe harbor, relief from the shadowy
maw of the beast; illuminata gained by Prometheus'
bravery, his gift to mankind.

Hold fast, blow the embers, stoke the flame. Protect
the light from the breath of the beast. And know,
the cloven hoof scrapes rock outside the door, but
can't survive the light.

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Copyright © 1996 by Mary Lambert. All rights reserved.