running the rag

by Paul Harrison

over and across
these surfaces
of my confinement
lifting ridges
and clumps of dust
i think of death
and the evidence
all around
how dust and books
were made for each other
how all the mothers
and all the cleaners
in all of ashland
could never stop
this simple fact
things fall apart and die
shedding life and
dead cells even now
always returning
to ashes and dust
mementos
of something
once alive
and yet, i feel
no bitterness
letting the skin
i shed alone
here in this
mausoleum
of loneliness
and time.

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