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At the Light
by J. Brian Long

I am told the most solemn
of my son's secrets: that once,
he had stolen a chrysalis

from its sleep someplace
deep in the sweetsap itch
of the cedar, that he had kept it

in a clear glass jar misted
with a day's breath and thumb-
prints before he had grown tired

of the waiting and had torn
at its soft, grey silk. He tells me
he has heard the elm whisper

the wind and rain into
rhyme, that color needs time
to dream and to gather,

that ink is the skin of a sound,
and that the light, as it hangs, is

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