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The Historian's Skull

Sometimes, a dream fills his skull
like a strong wind

so the roof lifts from the library
and the stars throw down
their points into the room.
Not yet, the mind in the skull

keeps saying. No—
dropped incense stick,

cigarette or falling match, the library
filling now with ember, flame.

What will I do with the past?
the mind asks from its skull,

but the past has burned away
and only the vessel remains--

the skull
like an antique pot

in which someone placed a scroll
to bury in the earth.