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Cotton blooms sift through the bruise of a stubborn,

moteless dawn—flecks on a weighted cloak drawn

yet half-open to the wind.

In feathered silence, they rescind their wings

to join lost uncles and brothers. Piled and bold

in heaps of Autumn bones, the catacombs have risen—

not smothered, but sprawling in scant light.

They wriggle and drift in reckless delight, banking

on the permanence of death.

As the season fades and her skin decays, the warmth

of her breath is but a figment, so they bleed the world dry

of its pigment, and the whitecaps venture in from the sea;

stalactites drip from the horizon as dewdrops harden

to stud the trees. In the softest of defeats, even the clouds

turn grey. As the low march repeats, they curl into the west.

Dropping petals on the outskirts of the way, the procession

spills forward, in wake and fading

beneath frigidity and imminent arrest.


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