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a beautiful hours, very well
and richly illuminated.
The yahrzeit candle

beats its yellow heart
all night, and the next morning

the ginkgo loses all of its leaves
at once. In 185 AD,

Chinese astronomers witnessed
what they called a guest star

that appeared in the sky and lingered
for eight months, the first documented

observation of a supernova, death
of a distant star. After his mother

died, my father arrived at her house
to find only a thimble

on the windowsill, erect
as a nipple. And when he

died, I found hanging, dry stone
in his shed, a shrink-wrapped

T-bone steak. Item: I saw
the swallowtail butterfly pull nectar

down its throat from the bush
called butterfly, watched its pages flutter

on that windless day until a passing
robin snapped them shut. As if opening

a book, they'll pull back the sheet
from my chest to find, where a pair of

pink doves once blinked, two
eyebrows, raised.

Angie Estes

Michigan Quarterly Review

Fall 2012

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