Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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AGITATION: conduct

Though it still carries blue, the mist here is not the same mist and the rain not the same rain and the corner room, a sly eye on the eastern field. No sound from the pond. No after-stir. Charred flies skitter over its silent vellum, and chimney swifts, our relinquishments, dodge the irrefutable air. And there are other alterations, other speeds.

Doves startle from underfoot. Leaves hang their little dry masks over the trail, rattling slightly. On the western bank, a scarlet tree darkly spreads a bloody hem from its cutoff dress. All sheathed bark, sheathed marble, sheathed glass reads as skin: reads as: can-be-shed. Will-be-pared.

Every stone renounces its throat. Every animal, every numeral ticked off—fox became a grip of red sand, zero caved to minus, wet leaf made a sodden hand, rain a face incessantly streaking. The air once deep enough to breathe, too shallow to wade. And the broken-armed women sinking and rising. Their mouths, broken megaphones. Their faces more beautiful than night’s encompassing.  end

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