for Anais Nin
by Nancy Shiffrin
In the hills I learn the design.
The lizard outside my door
has different markings each year, the same tissue.
Flame terrorizes brush, strips ravines,
cleanses the small animal population.
I mourn quail and rabbits Iíve fed.
Fire, part of the plan.
The wild cells baffling your armor,
aspects of the scheme.
Stain them. Adjust the lens. See how they multiply,
jewels blossoming in your marrow.
These homely parasites will devour your high cheek.
Your graceful step, child-woman air, will disappear.
I weep, do not despair.
We are one cell, you, I lizard, rabbit quail.
Bequeath me your wigs,
orange and yellow, bobbed and fringed,
I will comfort your falling hair.
from her collection of poetry: THE HOLY LETTERS
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