On Receiving a Rejection Note One Year and Seven Months After Submitting

This morning I woke thinking
of the old, giant tortoise
I saw as a child, its dome
lolling around the zoo lily pond
like the world's slowest lozenge.

Once a week, shortly before closing,
the zookeeper would open the low gate
for three or four visitors to come in,
touch the beast's shell,

grave, etched with runes
like some ancient script
become inscrutable.  
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