Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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I pray that the crows will return to my yard

so I can watch them pluck off their plumes
like soft black knives, alive the way words

are alive inside the earth of our bones. Did you know

that the tongue is never empty? That it has a memory
all its own? If you were to flay mine you’d find

the letters of your name next to the ones

for God; they make a shadow that travels
backward inside my throat along that pink hollow as if

I were a cave of honey. Come, listen to me speak. Let my mouth

move against your emptiness until you utter back to me
the sounds I most want to hear. Once spoken, a word

is fragile as music and holds no more. Today the crows

have changed my name so you’ll no longer feel me
on your tongue, you who were barely inside

me. I’d take your right eye, blue, and place it

next to its mate, also blue, arrange them like pebbles
in this dish on my desk. I know you think about

me. You’ve sent these crows to my yard to spy,

to arrow their wedged and dark heads down to the earth
as if they are pointing to where I’ve been.  

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