Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2021  Vol. 20  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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—a dizain sequence

From dust to dust, the clever man assumes
we are re-membered ash—the stuff of stars.
There’s carbon in our eyes, our body blooms;
yet every night, we shiver. The last bars
of a requiem whisper death, while memoirs
bear no life. Whoever pivots backward
finds no shade, no twilight to reward
the final turn, no early garden.
No one redeems the ancient pregnant sward,
the primal pond, or the first blue heron.

Last night a fawn wandered across our new
lawn—thin legs, dark eyes—successor
of echoes and repeals, all that tweaking through
millennia, fingering cells to favor
the winner, after a long, hard winter.
Would the sun or Sagittarius A, wrest-
ling with a black hole, care about her quest
for food: ears that perk, hoofs in precarious
dance? Would they shelter her through the contest,
shield her earnest heart? Iron out a truce?

Spark, spit, and soot: remnants of an unleashed
morning, now astral beads across a clear
heaven. They will not rally around the least,
the tenderest thing: the imperfect deer,
the pale heron amid ancient threats ever
encroaching, while the dark soil plays its role.
Shadows pressure the lawn, the pond weeps, dol-
ing out mist at the edge of our being.
If not a star, who stirs at the word console
or hears voices under a heron’s wing?  

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