diminution

So I concede,
resign myself to failure —
a paper balloon or bag holding
neither air nor water —
paltry vessel this. There was
a time, I admit, some purchase
more than I can grip held me
as lichen sheaths a rock, unfazed —
mewling from a spore, foliose,
where each turquoise hope OR word
engendered another — such small
mouths to feed. So then, I concede, I
flake the rim with a fingernail,
and what does not wedge there
sharp against this tender skin,
drops down among the leaves,
which, venal in a way, yield
to their leathery veins, as if
the limbs that bore them were
little more than a brace.

Image: Jeffrey Hamilton on Unsplash

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