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Marly Youmans

The Artist of God

In memory of Fae Malania, All Saints Day 2007

The litter of fallen leaves is ankle-deep
And all my words are black ants on the page.
What can I say that's worthy of a life?

Your tower of private dreaming is no more.
Your mouth stops open like a chorister's,
The mirrors go veiled, the window's propped ajar.

"Ineffable," my dictionary sings
As starlight gilds the larches of paradise.
You drink from a shining cup and are made whole.

No, your isle of blessings is not like that.
It is beyond all our imaginings.
The words pour through me and are lost in mist.

The world in time's a dark and thirsty place.
Dear friend, from Paradise-the-blest will you
Fetch me one drop to cool my burning tongue?

Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet. Fae Malania's book The Quantity of a Hazelnut, first published by Knopf in 1968, was reprinted by Seabury in 2005.

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