Archive | May 2011

The Sleeping Season

Well the summer snuck up again
So she went to sleep.
And I couldn’t tell
If it was the shadow
Cast by new-leafed trees
Or the controlled burn
That made everything so black
Around her.

It grew too fast for cutting
So I just lost myself
In that grass
As it waved in the wind.
Found a cool dry patch
And lay my body down
To wait for sunlight’s
Creeping tendrils
To set me on fire,
Or for the carrion-eaters
To rise up again
And carry me below.

I wielded the shovel,
The blade —
But no matter how many cuts
Were made,
I could not beat it back.
Pulled it from the ground
But the roots just ran around
‘Til the damn thing choked
Under witch-weight grass.

The thunder threatened
But rain never came,
So parched
I lapped at the dew
Until it too got lost
In the heat.

Then I buried her in cloud petals
Licked the sweat from my upper lip
And sat to wait in the dark.
Listened to the nightcrawlers
Making tunnels for her dreams
While the moths were finding
And I —
I lit the watch fire.
And looked for her
To come back to me



In the quaking hours,
She folds the soft brown wing
And waits in linen gauze
That shuts out the darkness.
Heavy-lidded, she listens,
Watches as they duel.
She can make no sense of this.
So she cuts a hole, here,
Lets a little moon shine through.

Called upon now
She takes wing,
Careful to avoid straight lines
And the direct gaze
That might burn through
Her shadow camouflage.
It is nothing.
But they have everything —
Every last thing
That she could want.

Take care now.
Do not let them see
How deeply
You long to burn.
She wends her solitary way
Back to the dawn branches
And folds her wings against the pine bark.
Hidden here,
She can keep it close,
This secret hunger.

If they knew
She was not flightless,
They might turn them upon her —
Those flamelike eyes —
And dissect her with language.

But as it always is,
She cannot resist.
She flies toward them,
In their reckless lightness,
Their casual and their calm,
They will turn her to ashes
Smoking in the dawn.