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Mendicant

Your house is the plainest of churches. Yet
how like a nun I find home there. I tiptoe so
the wood absorbs my step, so that your ceiling,
heaven-high, won’t broadcast echoes

of my graceless gait. Rough wooden beams
arrogate all dreaming here. Logs huddle
tight against the empty hearth. Likewise,
the daylight, muffled and oblique, worms

furtively through windows fortified
by stalwart iron traceries. Your halls:
made slim by dusty breveries stacked flush
along their borders. Narrow, too: your bed.

And yet what cosseted relief I find inside
this counterworld submerged in sepia. An old
clock strikes its hollow hour, somewhere,
in a distant room I seek to leave unfound.

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