A green wig on a willow stump.

Dog’s blood in every catbrier berry.

Trace of moonlight skint from a window.

Rainbow pressed deep into a voice.

The ambassador’s three daughters are

whispering to their youngest brother’s ghost.

The ghost is slanting an ember across

his assassin’s tongue while the assassin

sleeps, childlike, brushing a willow leaf.

The ember swallows almost everything

in the embassy. Someone is trying to awaken.

Light pours out again. Lilacs cluster with smoke.

A small cobra raises its hood against the Zodiac.

Heaven is not shackled to the heat inside its veins.

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