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Poetry Magnum Opus
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The Venerable Cistercian

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Crock for drainage, and dark soil
busy with woodlice.
She overflows the earthenware
with basil, oregano, thyme.
Will they wither in this heat? Leaf
like long lost scrolls.
She buries prayers, that cilice
of barbed vows,

and breathes the shiver of perfume
along her skin.
This Magdalene
has earth beneath her finger nails.

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