Only the minor gods have ventured out
this morning: delicate
and silken, with a gift for mimicry,
they do not stoop to punish, or forgive,
though, sometimes, they are capable
of blessing.

I wake at dawn, but not to what I know
of Nineveh: a quinquereme
in abstract, certain hues
of cardamon, or tradescantia;

a siege of herons; razorfish in shoals;
cat snake and viper
tracked across the floor
or hidden in the feed
at lambing time;

till what I cannot recognise
as Silk Road
or an ounce of vie en rose,
is weaselled out of logic by a grace
as final as that fault line in the mind
where wilderness
comes slanting through the glint
of self-deceit and guile to claim its own.

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