What We Pay

In a paper lantern
The light will consume
The house.
Spreading to the boundary
The delicate ribbing
Crackles and bursts.
Likewise, at certain times
The song exceeds the bird.
Its strange lungs explode
Into glittering notes,
Blood-red abbreviations.
Standing on the bank
Of the Nile, Osiris is fed
To the darkened bream.
From his dissected body
A bodiless thirst is slaked.
Everything we know
Comes from someone else’s
Helpless, devoured edge.

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