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You bore a gilded query and a welcome,
a call to quest and a key
half blade, half seed,
with the barest hint
toward a furrow I followed
from cairn to col
to buckling columns and a staircase leading down.

I wish I’d kept it to myself when I was done.
You always had another thing
to say before I drew the dome off
from the secret.

And apart from you, from your whispered clues,
your always teasing twist toward truth,
your many synonyms for “deeper,”
when I had the key I had the rooms behind the door.

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Jubling

A scurry, a crawl,
a stealth slither
close to the wall,
a slight of paw,

then an evasion of fire
and iron: I pick my way
down, through detention
and garrison, past counter and cog,
a long-hewn road snuck down
for a red-backed frog.

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Teldrassil

Under the canopy: amethyst boughs, violet shadows.
I mistake most moments here for dusk
while with wrath and staff you
shear and cull the press
of blue-hued life.

These first few hours of ease and tutelage
leave me no mind of how, at eighty,
I’ll leave you behind in Sholazar,
or how, years later, I’ll still think of you there,
asleep and waiting for the mail.

 

Liner note

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Every moment manual: resistance and give
of a barb through the pebbly glisten of nightcrawlers’
skin, arc and fly of weight and float
from the shore to the deep of the pond,
finger drifting with the line all through the long
wait to bite, then frantic crank of reel, salvation of net.

Then, this done by my grandfather, the slip of stringer
through mouth and gill to keep our catch submerged
until he could slice and we could clean,
retrieving guts with unwilling fingers,
scraping scales in a waltz of tug and yield.

I would have gone there every day, but now know it
only as gum on string inched down
through a grate of text, or arcanite
rod wrested from Stranglethorn, or a wait
for the bob to dip in a Hyrulean stream.

 

Liner note

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Jump (I)

Flight flanked in stone and black iron,
like seeds aloft from tufts
blown through a wrought fence,
apparent effortlessness carried in convections
billowed up from lava below.

Everyone waits while I bear into
my leather soles again,
weigh my choice of step or leap
from ledge to balcony.

 

Liner note

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