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The Self-Illuminated

As your hand turns white upon the book
we’d biked across so you might see it done,
only you could, at a time like this,
put me in mind of that rum business
with St Fillan of Glen Dochart, whose brief entry
in the Breviarium Aberdonense
tells of the stone he spat when he was born,
and of how, denied a candle in his cell,
he found his left arm light up from within
so he could read, till sleep turned out his skin.
His relics are five: the carved head of his crook,
his once-candescent bones, his flying bell,
and two long lost – one, perhaps his psalter,
the other, a manuscript, or a portable altar.

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