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Like a dark lantern

i move through the first

floor at 3 a.m., past

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the cat who is curled

in a chair half made

of her fur, turning

her back on air

conditioning, startled

to find me prowling

in the dark as if I were

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intruding on stars and

moon and the ripple

in water that spits

back the plum trees.

Grass smells grassier.

The clock inches slowly

toward the light. A

creak of wood and the

soft scratch on the blue

Persian rug the cat claws

gently merge with some

night bird I've never

seen, like a poem that

goes along and suddenly

at the end, like a banked

fire, explodes into the

wildest flame that finishes

off everything that has

come before it perfectly

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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