Friday, January 13, 2017


Alan Vernon, "Female Costa's
," 2011

Eye to eye, she tells me wring
more sweetness from the sun,
bring it now. She cannot wait.
Outrunning her shadow costs
her; at night, she won’t sleep,
she’ll step into a future death
just a little, her torpor a ruse
to outwit the killing cold. As I
make fresh nectar, I tell her a
story—the ancestral brothers,
kin to the god of war, skinned
for the glory of kings. She has
no truck with that, imagines a
new home to nest in—a royal
beating heart, exsanguinated,
extirpated by the same beak
whose feather-tongue kisses
the red dahlia, the sunflower.

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