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I Have Known   

I have known all the threatening simmers 
at dusk and now I'm fearless
each footstep a blood raindrop rippling in the drag of gravity
I have known the grass and all its spines
to gather all earth's force beneath my homeless body
now I sin against the sadness of my time by 
laughing as harshly as the claw-marks in the clouds
in their exploding places
every time the lazy mouths of gloom 
open in their unsearching hazes.

There are few things that are not beautiful
and little to complain of
for one who has known 
death before death
transcendence before heaven
hell before judgment
sex before sensitivity
and after the rebirth of every nerve
food before taste 
and after starvation
love after nothingness
free laughter after real insanity
and everything tasted thereafter.

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