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Photo and graphics credit: Dean Pasch


She measures the skyline by footprints
(after Dean Pasch’s visual palimpsest “The Collector of Midnights”)
by Lois P. Jones

She would rather let her feet touch the night.
She would rather believe the sole defines its arch
the way evening shapes a mountain.
Her mind lost in corridors of earth
the séance of felled cottonwoods
and damp rotted soil --
poppies pulled too soon from their ground.
She would rather let her toes trace the moon,
sink her heels into its glow, walk its crags uncertain
of each step, waist deep in the mist between absence
and presence. Orion's belt dazzling as her diamond anklet,
and the wind an empty forehead between her knees.
To breathe underwater -- the marsh borne calamus dreams
and the alluvial thoughts of an iridescent lizard.
When there is no daylight, when water is both window
and mirror only then can she read the roots of things.
Or ask a question or no question at all--feel the way
a tree's rings push outward without need of memory,
like rain articulating midnight, knowing it will come.


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