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“The Mouth of the Heart”
                        ––St Augustine

Knute Skinner

Reading the saint’s Confessions,

I jotted down these five words.

But now I do not recall

what was on the saint’s mind

when he composed them.


I do recall believing

that the words apply to me.


And I do recall two times when I

gave mouth to my heart,

and each of those times turned out well.

But only for some years.


And I scarcely recall now those numerous times,

times when I gave mouth to my heart

entirely in vain.


Those times do not matter now.


These days, since giving mouth to my heart

for a final, decisive time,

not one of the other times

is worth thinking about.

(The Hong Kong Review, Vol. II, No. 2)

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