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Poppies and Stardust by Candice Daoud

Stars are the bones
upon which dreams stand.
If you shake me hard enough
I will beguile you with prophecy
but in the end you will
still be a dervish
and I will still be a severed hand.

A life is a funny thing
to keep to oneself
and yet here I lie
with my hands pressed
against my heart
crying until sleep
smooths out my edges.

If not for the constellations
there would be nothing
to guide us and alone
we are just tadpoles
skimming the murky surface
of our own hubris.

I may be incidental
but there is within me
a tendency towards
I am but an insect
in the etheric fields,
and given to fits
of unprecedented torpor.

My mouth splits
and grows soft
under the insistence
of a shared breath.

A kiss is an outrageous act.
It is a poem held together
by hope and appetite.
If it were an act of rebellion
I might fair better in love.
I am pacifist shaped by war
and by the inscrutable ravages
of a nearly constant hunger.

When a butterfly dies
it becomes a stained glass window.
When I die I will become
a grave of red poppies,
a psychopomp
to usher in the fallen.

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