I have learned the beauty
of that which was strange,
buried, alien, chilly, gemmed;
I have learned to descend
and breathe the untried air
and acclimate my eyes
to the richness of dark worlds
to see gardens, clouds, mansions,
fair hands, lanterns, dancers
far below the light; to dive
for pearls where water is not,
to drift and dream in wakeful splendor,
wishing not to rise until
my heart has been filled with colors
the sun has never touched
and revel in the leafless glory
that has been hidden
from every winking star.

And I have learned the freshness
of that which once was acrid,
foreign, barricaded, aloof;
I have learned to ascend
and stretch in your untried shine
and acclimate my soul
to the richness of your valor
to hear poetry, longing, bells,
laughter, history, praises
melded in the fore, to smile
in the fluency of our walking,
two beings who once stood at blade's edge
wishing not to cross into
the spheres of each other's glowering
but now bear friendship's colors
and rejoice in the distant singing
of waves that shall bear us
to chambers yet unknown

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