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Seeing for a Moment

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I thought I was growing wings—
it was a cocoon.

I thought, now is the time to step   
into the fire—
it was deep water.

Eschatology is a word I learned
as a child: the study of Last Things;

facing my mirror—no longer young,
       the news—always of death,
       the dogs—rising from sleep and clamoring   
            and howling, howling,

nevertheless
I see for a moment   
that's not it: it is   
the First Things.

Word after word
floats through the glass.   
Towards me.

Denise Levertov, “Seeing for a Moment” from Oblique Prayers. Copyright © 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 by Denise Levertov. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation, www.wwnorton.com/nd/welcome.htm.
Source: Oblique Prayers (1984)
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Seeing for a Moment

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