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A Sleepless Night

 April, and the last of the plum blossoms 
scatters on the black grass 
before dawn.
The sycamore, the lime, the struck pine inhale the first pale hints of sky.
An iron day, I think, yet it will come dazzling, the light rise from the belly of leaves and pour burning from the cups of poppies.
The mockingbird squawks from his perch, fidgets, and settles back.
The snail, awake for good, trembles from his shell and sets sail for China.
My hand dances in the memory of a million vanished stars.
A man has every place to lay his head.

by Philip Levine
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