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On Those Last White Nights

Like the cat who stole

Baby's breath to weave

Into garlands for nightingales,

I come to this enchanting

With light tread and small

Intentions: a few matches,

Shavings from the Tree of

Endless Winnowing,

A pannier of herbed fir chips,

A small candle made in

The dark of Cygnus,

And a handful of melodies

Not heard in these lands

Since Death was still alive.

We will sit here together,

Now friends in the darkness

As the wheel so slowly spins,

Until the stars take their bows

And retreat into the wings:

Then set these tiny lamps

To keep vigil for the few reckless

Barbarians of the psyche

Who still believe that there is

Hope beyond the edges of

The light, who can dare the needed

Reach to catch the Planet-Eater

By a claw as he snatches for them;

And like a lion's thorn worked

Loose by endless flexing,

One day be deposited on

That outpost where the solace

Of knowing is all the forgetting

Needed to remember who

You are. 

- David Mitchell

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