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Structure of organic stone

this vacant house

built molecule on molecule

by the body of a mollusk

witlessly devising spectrums,

stripes, spots,


which it could never see

or wonder at

nor even hear within

(emptied of its mortal substance)

the sea which echoes certain power forever;

This pristine whorl,

all life, all death,

all stench of either purged

by endless salt

and water and the motion

of the moon

in death, rather

in absence of life”

this shell in my hand

is remote and hollow

as a Gothic ruin

striped by reformers’ zeal,

emptied of both decay and life

by lost belief”

is as nacreous,

miraculously colored,

brilliant, heartrending and dead.

Still shells contain within

the whispered roar

of eternity.