Once upon a time

There is an absence etched in this place
of the jasmine that used to grow here
and the bark of a dog that went mad
and the innocence I insist was here, once.

There is an absence imprinted on my heart,
thick with descriptions written longhand
with a tool called an ethnograph:
blunt one end, and unplesantly sharp at the other.

There is an absence. Listening for a note
in the far recesses of a roofless cathedral
deep as a floor bass humming towards its target
humble and suddenly high-pitched, a Lancaster clearing the dunes.

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