In the Swale

A conspiratorial, oily thumb and
forefinger crush yellowed, coarse
paper–page four hundred thirty
seven–fluttering in anticipation,
perceiving imminent movement
within its constricted fibers.  Protein
gives tastes differently enough,
collapsing into sapped midnight
mouths, red long gone.

And so it was deciphered as that
hovering and absolute monarch,
harnessed in a gauzy gray doublet,
leered down at us…we, who only
shine half as brightly.

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