Stilling the blood with calls that quicken the foothold • when even the pavement runs out of excuses to • go on, beaks opening to break throats announce their • presence, bat-winged invaders flying below radars of doubt, a • cuckold of another time’s midnight-coloured birds, those crows are • the souls of immortal men no better than criminals • transgressing the liminal, trafficking in omens, sentient portents older • than Odin, they know the hollows of bones inside • and out, every relic a home for a prayer • or a scroll unspooling from within what votive howls • fizzle like cracked vowels pouting as they tell them • to stay or go, if this is a place • safe from worry and fear or one they should • •
clear out before burying there what always looked better • viewed from afar than near, the corpse of Us, • stitched together from pieces of whom we once were, • a cadaver of what never was, what two people • never are: comfortable with being thieves of what others • never let us call ours but we almost had, • you did not doubt them then, when you asked • with the unease of smudged pastel cheeks for an • oracle, if I could hear what you did, whispers • of what we had, its end foretold by what • was all dead air until waves of wings fell • in limpid orchestrations mimicking the movements of warriors falling • onto the rust of ancient swords, a demonstration of • •
its evidence, the pierce of their caws was not • unjust but startled us when, in the sugary air • of changing weather, against better judgment, we sought under • knots of clouds meaning in the best of our • foreign languages, translating into vernacular liturgies auguries omnipresent in • the changing of seasons, tolerating the inconvenience of revealed • truth until its blush appeared, playing upon our faces • a dust of frost flaking off in the warmth • of fleeting kisses, each of our near-misses culminating in • that cyclone of a moment, perfecting a storm revisited • in that field, where that idealism which Latinized my • syntax failed, was plowed down, scythed by Saturnine realizations • until we were vulgar again, praying for a reason • •
to be innocent in the presence of sin, lusting • after breath made manifest by its chilling effect, hearing • in its passing over us that love is a • superannuated art, that this was what we got for • entrusting to the voids of our hearts what sculptors • scoop out because it does not work, stones of • shortcomings too hard for the gut to process, those • mouthfuls of silenced rejections the head collects, those pitfalls • I have been swallowing ever since, bitten once wanting • to taste you every time I pick up some • soft-spoken fruit I bruise with my abuse of words, • every set of lips since then filling with guilt • only now I can admit, that I should have • •
put my faith in you instead of pricking anonymous • flesh with this kick-stand dick heretic strangers rode as • if they were converts training for a marathon of • attrition and my bedroom was an Olympic stadium, my • regrets a pride of lions, prowling and smiling, fortune’s • wheels juggernauting under them the one crush I could • not forget and should not have jettisoned, how it • left an impression, an indelible abrasion in the clay • of my hand, what I felt then peering under • the skirts of autumn in that lonesome clearing, lifting • the kilt of heaven, tempting the destruction of its • gift to witness what happens when poverty flirts with • wealth, accepting nothing in exchange for everything, and winter • •
pours crystal tears that harden, jewels its approaching wind • throws like lightning before one bolts from another, a • sign you wanted and finding it there I wondered • why sand turns to glass when hit since its • return to dust is inevitable, the crash of thunder • clapping as we broke our pact in the place • where we met, returning to our origin, closing the • circle without so much as anything magical happening, parting • as soon as the murder passed its verdict the • way owls assume in the gravitas of their samizdat • parliaments what crows lack in their assessment of trash, • wisdom only in hindsight, that we were our own • victims, sacrifices preparing for the end since the beginning.