Stepping Down

Here are stairs to heart,
eleven steps to adoration. Down,
down through rock and dust-
secret lives of those who loved
without breaking time.

Such a darkness! The truth
of darkness, science of a lost religion.
Every insect knows its place and burrows
in. This is where the fires die, cold
as nature's bones.

These fingers holding, bracing
faces turned to ash and air, fragile
as the snow-flakes falling, whose lives
are just as brief and tender. Here are
stairs leading to the underworld-

a basement for the soul.

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