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            Michael H. Levin: Poems and Prose  

AFTERLIFE

For Miklos Radnóti (1909-1944)

          I the root was once the flower

          Under these dim tons my bower.

          Comes the shearing of the thread.

          A saw is wailing overhead.

                        -- From a notebook meant to be found when his remains were excavated from the pit


The death you dreamed occurred

at last. All deaths you feared

came finally to pass.

The world shrank to a shattered

tree, embodying

dire certainty.


Still, calculated faith

that words are life

pushed patient tendrils

towards the light,

where now they flash


jeweled facets

dark obsidian fire.

First published in 2016 Anna D. Rosenberg Award Collection (Poetica, Sept. 2017)