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The Oldest Child

 The night still frightens you.
You know it is interminable And of vast, unimaginable dimensions.
"That's because His insomnia is permanent," You've read some mystic say.
Is it the point of His schoolboy's compass That pricks your heart? Somewhere perhaps the lovers lie Under the dark cypress trees, Trembling with happiness, But here there's only your beard of many days And a night moth shivering Under your hand pressed against your chest.
Oldest child, Prometheus Of some cold, cold fire you can't even name For which you're serving slow time With that night moth's terror for company.

by Charles Simic
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