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Squalor of leaves. November. A lone

hornets' nest. Paper wasps. Place where

everything that happens is as who says it will,

because. As in Why shouldn't we have

come to this, why not, this far, this

close to

        that below-zero where we almost

forget ourselves, rise at last unastonished

at the wreckery of it, what the wreckage

somedays can seem all along to have

been mostly, making you wonder what fear

is for, what prayer is, if not the first word

and not the last one either, if it changes

nothing of what you are still, black stars,


        scars, crossing a field that you've

crossed before, holding on, tight, though

careful, for you must be careful, so easily

torn is the veil diminishment comes

down to as it lifts and falls, see it falling,

now it lifts again, why do we love, at all?

Surrounded as We Are, Unlit, Unshadowed

Carl Phillips

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George McWhirter

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translated from the Spanish written by
Homero Aridjis