The Impossibility of Crows
After shot and wary echo I remember
the rhythmic swing of a forgotten bell—
whistling rounds off mark.
One bird is sin, two, chance. Three means life.
Or luck. Herd watching from the woods,
which escapes or finds its way to other guns.
Leaning through recoil into the whispered
blade, under prayers of purple meat—
we give what we have to give,
and grow accustomed to the vulnerable.
Fire of leaves and shed of hanging haunch.
Underfoot the shadows talk—
He flays the skin one way, springs bones
another. How we are to find ourselves. Gone
to town with flesh in paper—heart, liver, loins.
Four is wealth, five, disease. Six makes death.
Winter's black wings wrap the sky's body.
Winter's beak tucks down the carcass field.
To go down to sleep with crows
beside the fresh and kicking soul.
The flock is massing. Draw me to a kill.
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