For Emily Dickinson

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“Hope is the thing,” she said,

that one thing most real for one who looks.

Her lips, so full in Heaven’s unmeasured smile,

speak outward still to a land more rich for the kiss.

 

“He ate and drank the precious words,” she intones –

a wiser breath slicing through the caustic

din of monoxidic madness. Someone sees

what, in its dim appearing, shows itself bright.

 

“If I can stop one heart from breaking,” we hear

her moan, the pained and paining alike her cast.

Though hell would be her suitor, more suited

to Heaven the language of this child.

 

Let us then lean into the dawning day, delight

our closest friend and, as she might urge us,

look East where all is birthing and good is free.

For “none can avoid this purple.”

 

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