Volume 22, Number 4


You can tell by the curtain
how the play will end, this sill
dusted word for word
till your ear slides along
the feathers and you hear
a door open the way
between the passenger's side
and just one wing
so there's a spin in the works
though under the hood
an old campfire is fed
live songs laced together
with stories about ghosts
—their smoke covers you
—even the tires
glistening, half wood
half songs, surrounded
by miles no one remembers
and the invisible shadow
alongside your eyes when the door
opens on the driver's side
divides the sky the way lightening
sees what's coming and the curtain
makes a gesture —spread-eagle
then climbs slowly
to become your arms
—you don't move
—from this height the sky
fills with some moon-lit constellation
still burning in the dark
—you can make out the beak
the claws clasping your lips
suddenly rock, lowered here
to watch over the dead
the falling birds
with not enough air to breathe.

—Simon Perchik