Roman Numerals
By Deborah H. Doolittle


Cleavage of valley, two peaks,
no sides. Folsom's fulcrum,
cuneiform's cutting wedge. Hand
talk's sign for victory
or peace. A fistful of dollars,
for days of work, not awe. The seasonal
migration of geese. Lightning bolt's
voltage, ultraviolet sky,
lilac, lavender,
candied violets. Rosin
worn thin by someone's violin
bow. That's my lullaby.
Each small vav becomes a hum,
the very sound of grief,
the all-too-brief vibration
of the days to come.

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