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PSALM OF THE DYING GIRL, RECOVERED

This electric light, a tin sun,
an immodesty over me.
They are in white, tending,
taking rings from fingers, sponging,
tubing throat, nose, tying
hands and gauzing eyes.

A good girl can't wish for death,
for the single white feather
from the pillow, the mapless
city of hands, each aflame
in that opiate sea — your royal touch.

Since I know this is grace, I'm not in it.
I'm returned to visiting hours,
a stranger to breath.

Hoisted from that place by love —
How I miss you, back amid the sibilance of parents,
their wretched prayers.

      — Allyson Shaw