Summer is a crow with blue eyes.
Artichokes drink the water
and then the lake goes thirsty.
E chi se ne frega?
Why didn't I feed the cat?
The wind has carried away the window
and the saints plucked out all their eyelashes.
I lick the halo around my father's lips
and use his teeth
to tally my prayers to Jude.
How many is enough? I tell them I want
a white crow feather in the key of F,
but nobody is selling them. Bite my nipples
if you think an open door smells
like pound cake baking.
Bite my tongue
if you do not.
My eyes are dry and red as Pergusa
when she licks herself clean.
Someone said the crow on the sill
is drunk on grappa. She would kiss
my ring and say Vincenzo,
this bird missing its foot is malocchio.
It looks like hair burning.
Out on the lawn, nurses in short sleeve shirts
drink coffee with too much cream
and tell each other this February
is a false spring. Only angels know the worth
of artichokes and all of them are dead.
So is the mouse
in the mind of the cat.
I am a sea urchin with his hands
in other people's pockets. Fear tastes
like metal keys.
3. Dr. Maurizio
I stir seven grains of salt into my coffee
with father's cornicello as if I believe.
All these crows that fly
in the window peck keyholes
in my papers and try to unlock them
with rings they've stolen from the hands
of nuns. Gold turns the fingers
black of those who speak
to the future. Harm is hard
to feel in the back of a drawer.
I show St. Peter the halos
at the base of my nails,
but he is unimpressed.
My stomach is full of winter rain
and priests' skeletons. I spend too much
time talking. God sounds like Etna
eating churches in Mascali.
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