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my house’s stairway is seized

with vertigo.

Matter having forsaken its laws,

we land in hell,

ascending to heaven.


Shadows move along ladders

under the silence of ordinary things

there is another silence:

it belongs neither to the leaves nor to the


with a crown of birds circling                           
a child is running in an abandoned                 
the stairway takes the measure of                  
its own emptiness                                        

I myself am the stairway that

Time has used in its

funeral course

The Manifestations of the Voyage

Etel Adnan

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