by Michael Cantor

This is the calm that calms the fools,
the quiet eye that does not blink,
the blade set bare before the storm.

This is the famous hall of sighs
where whispers cling to walls and run
the circle of the sweating stone.

This is the cancer, hiding from light;
the dead still sea, the silent wind;
this is the calm that melts your bones.

Here now the idols carved into rock,
churches and graveyards, blisters on skin,
ice-covered beaches pale in the moon.

This is the prologue; here now the beast.

“Prologue” first appeared in Umbrella.

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