(acrylic on paper, 57 cm x 36 cm)
The crow nuzzles into my upper chest
on the right side, near my shoulder.
It finds warmth there, and makes me laugh;
It will not move until I say goodbye
and it will not say goodbye until I move.
But its cold now, and I have crow-pimples all over
October rain has ushered in winter's fog...
The crow's beak cuts into my skin, I'm unaware
its claws dig into my flesh, I couldn't feel.
Perhaps I bleed a little, for my skin is soaked in that place
but it can't be tear, because crows don't cry.
I hold on to it, nearly crushing its tiny ribcage,
a flailing heart beats against my chest
recording the tale of tomorrow's death.
It's December now, riverbeds and shoulders are dry
fog swirls across disappearing railway tracks
as ghostly figures stand and wave
saplings curl and wispy clouds dissolve in blue
a harsh winter sun stares at me day and night
chilling me to the bones. I have crow-pimples all over.
The crow has made me a quilt, out of feathers it has shed
I wrap it around me, looking like a ridiculously large bird
in a scary painting.
At two o'clock in the morning, as the bird picks the red strands
of yesterday, and sleepless dogs howl, I count backwards
until I reach the day of the first telephone call.