Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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The Hungering Eucalyptus

The eucalyptus glittering
at midnight like a bright lung—shivering, hanging
its wildly silent sigh. The inner
Eye says that moon could be a man’s
glowing heart—frozen
in the body of the goatherder

they found in the ice
clutching a woolen sack with green bread in it.
His eyelashes stiffened like a star’s
frail condensation and when they opened
his chest, it stunned them with its silence.
A giant white heart

enchanting the opened
forest of his rib cage. They wondered at
the lacquered muscle of his body,
how it glittered, streamed, nightingaled—
red-golds and satiny purples
spilling like a drunken hand its heartbreak

of scotch thrown at the window. The argument
against a failed love, refracted by rain. My brother, once,
unable to speak, the sad drunk in him
breaking out at midnight, because she left him . . . Life—how
it always comes down to whether

we are lost or found or kissed or alone
in the blank storm of our lives.
Moon, or hospital light.
Grave, or body.
Breath, or the rapid shivering

of the green shatter of the dead lighting
the night window, white and silver. And the tempting
in our hands, the lave, the lost
drink. How the leaves clip rain and shadow.
They wondered how Death

gets us back to Self, and whether
in his arms the stray goat kid fell
asleep with him under the thunder
of that winter’s worst avalanche. He was forgotten
to the last century and still wearing his overcoat
of deer and snow rabbit
fur snagged in the black
teeth of the Himalayas. But here

in the hungering eucalyptus, the moon drips
dirty romantics for the living
who can’t sleep. Deaths of my loved ones
I do not know why. There is always someone being taken
away but to where? Brother
where did she disappear, your first love, into what

bodiless rustling? Night has woken up
inside me, this pale rendering
bloodless, as the shrieking of blue jays through
my sleep. This late, I managed rapt moonlight in the leaves,
keeping my eye on the daggers . . .  

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