These Harrowing Reverberations

These harrowing reverberations
felt just beneath the skin
issue from a reptilian depth.
The surface of the self quavers, quakes.
An impression remains,
but of what? Surely
something too abstract to name,
the memory of a memory,
the apparition of a ghost,
an image wholly resistant to categories.
One goes knock-kneed at first sight,
and the impression readily, steadily,
comes to dominate the surface,
that soft surface of the self,
until the surface becomes impression
and the impression becomes self.

-r. miller

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