Years of reading fiction teach you how to say
Not what. Outlines of days await solemn acts
Piped in. A man passing the church looks up,
Looks to his wrist, moves on. How familiar that.

I plunge a knife in bread to slice before butter
And think of Goethe’s Charlotte and how
It has all of it been done before and how yet
The specifics give it torque, spindling the lathe,

Turning what’s known outward on its bobbin.
The stubborn game of strange places, faces made
To match known faces, comfort in old forms.
In the chapel window the saint’s face is yours.

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