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the earth opened up
and swallowed her—

not without
invitation
or provocation,
fond as she was of

clawing
at the crust,
digging
through the past,

past memories
dim and disconnected
from living tongues;
past crumbled empires
lost to lies and
skeletal shards of
epochs and ages
unknown,
unnamed.

deeper still,
until
science failed her—

and there, imprisoned
in the center of the world,
she found her god,
pale and weary;

a galley slave
rowing a vessel
upon seas he
could not see.