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24 Ga l l T h e m s e lv e s, a n d Ga s h That hawk-shaped shadow, Hopkins, is God’s homage to you. Give beauty back, you said, and God listened, though God is dead, And you are dead, and no one knows what that means, or whether you care— but it is likely, though not proven, that you don’t hear The music of what happens from the heaven of nothing where you are. We spend our lives talking to the deaf dead until we join them. But over the desert, out of sight, something moves and throws its darkness down to us: like salvation? like a frayed lifeline? like the bent, Corroded coin a king’s servant tosses from a coach to a leper? The priesthood of mortality is conferred upon us all, Even the hawk—though she is indifferent, except that she smells the rich black blood of the desert rat, and hungers, and heels, and falls. ...


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