Sweetest bleeding is the cipher of sleep.
Soundless loaming, burying its dead.
The raw rilled lexicon that no one read.
No word survives the color of this deep,

this black unsinging-the wave escapes the leap,
its edges flatten-a syllable, a said
spell like pearl an ocean bore and bled
dying in harrows. Palliative, a sweep

blacks and satins. Sad sirens burn and sigh,
caressing the umber inner of a thigh-
unfolding in the flimmer of their hair

the swimming timbre, the wakeful stare
loosens its wooings, and wakes to die
drowning mutely, hollow as the sky.

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Karen Volkman