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Im Aegert

Jill Alexander Essbaum

At mourning, I’m a laureate.
Cast this head on a brass coin.
I’ll assume a glass crown.

This morning, I wake to inner alarm.
The guess that darkness isn’t all
there is. That there is more,

that the relative next is worse.
Sunrise is glacial. The snow
is chalk. I lilt when I walk,

like a drunk. A reproach of birds
condemns me. Am I game? Don’t
shoot. I pitch from one periphery

to its brother. I am a chill
that can’t be burned away. Not
with sunlight, not with love.

Of course there is something
worse to come. Like: when god
doesn’t answer a prayer. Like:

when god does.

Jill Alexander Essbaum

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