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COSMIC ASH

By Leila Farjami

A mountain is a mountain;
a bull,
a bull;
a camellia,
a camellia;
I am
I.


Stars are shiny pebbles
from a distance.
The holy spirit
is a little girl riding her bicycle
to an ice cream truck in the afternoon,
or a crawling turtle,
or a sluggish planet inching for the edge of infinity.


Your hands
are the limbs of the oldest cypress,
and the moon is aging like your face
with its deep craters of grief,
its silver veins of a sacred light
that beam through the globe-bound pupils,
all white,
all silent fall,
all readiness to enter
a soul’s mold.


If I had not been born
on the day of an eclipsing sun
and dimming willow trees,
the mountain would call me forth
in its own echoing rise,
the bull would merge
with my nakedness,
the camellia would triumph
over this speck-of-dust universe;
and the fire beneath our feet
would be a witch’s blazing breath
that turns death
into a palmful
of luminous cosmic ash