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It happens in a blink
of the eye and the train of lights,
red, white, green,
gone into the dark
of a new year.

It happens in a closing
of the eyes, into the overstuffed embrace
of a cardboard coffin,
the tree collapsing,
overburdened by gaiety,
broken and dismembered.

It happens in the blinding
of eyes, and the crinkling unrolling
of clear tape, binding the artificial
to past joys and sorrows, in hopes
for better tomorrows.

It happens in the settled
dust of darkness and forgotten crawlspaces,
encrypted with two malingering ghosts,
imparting metallic pallor
to the breath of believers,
while the third fails to show
for the funeral.