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Gold Leaf


To lift, without ever asking what animal exactly it once belonged to,
the socketed helmet that what's left of the skull equals
up to your face, to hold it there, mask-like, to look through it until
looking through means looking back, back through the skull,
into the self that is partly the animal you've always wanted to be,
thatódependingófear has prevented or rescued you from becoming,
to know utterly what you'll never be, to understand in doing so
what you are, and say no to it, not to who you are, to say no to despair.


Carl Phillips

Wild Is the Wind
Farrar, Straus and Giroux


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