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“Nostrum” by Kristin Bock

Nostrum

Optima dies prima fugit

— Virgil

I’ve tied the hem of your death
to the end of my bed, counted

your hallucinations like sheep.

No bigger than small children,

regrets limp back to sleep
in their bloody socks.

A worm crawls out
from under my lifeline.

When I lean out the window,
Beauty and Time drop from my pockets:

a brooch, a watch, a set
of everything I’ve lost.

How easily things pass over
into a world we hardly know.

Because the best days are the first to flee,
it’s all right to lie down in delusion together —

two strangers
asleep under an apple tree,

dreaming of a tiny cloud
caught in the waist of an hourglass.

— Kristin Bock

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