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Break me the way, you heavy hammer, 

To the deepest bottom of my heart.

Poem by Henrik Ibsen, on his Tombstone

The whir of fan,

the ticking clock,

My breathing, my heartbeat.

There is something

Pulling toward loneliness,

Stopped short by a good book.

The Complete Works of Ibsen.

I follow Nora through the door,

Oswald to death,

Karsten Bernick to truth.

I rush to keep up

With Solness, the Master Builder,

As he clambers the scaffold

To the tower’s highest spot,

Wreath in hand, dizzy, forgetting

He is destined to fall.

How intimate, to descend alongside

These haunted souls,

Hearts and motives exposed,

Laid out for me to judge or pity or pardon,

Or none of the above.

The truth of it fills my need

To hear true words spoken,

Even if only in my head.

Break the way, hammer.

Heavy hammer, break the way.