By the Stream of Lost Things

He seeks a bayou witch
who can trade my soul
for three sunsets.
To her — he says:
I cannot run but I can walk much faster
Than raindrops can race down cathedral windows
Than wishes can grow under the banyan tree
Will you trade with me?

(In the Mausoleum of Time,
I lie waiting still
with petals for hands
and coins behind my eyes,
wearing wet crystals caught
on spiderwebs)

The bayou witch sings:
If you can count
The different shades of green the forest makes
If you can weed
All the wishes under the banyan tree
If you can walk
With two shadows but half your life
Then I shall soul-bind you
For three sunsets.

(From the Mausoleum of Time,
I leave with half his life,
holding warm hands
and borrowed time,
with seven-thousand nights
in an hourglass)

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