Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Etch

by Alia Hussain Vancrown

A barking pack of coyotes, cacophonous precision
nine distinct yups of the fox that answers me
when wandering the dead of night is an exhaustion
of darker questions.

Frogs overwhelm the swamps
that surround the house and emerge earlier each year
as the planet threatens to boil.

Too much physics to untangle, too much umbilical
to unwind.

Here is a broken thing, here I shape it beautiful
here is a dead brother, here I avoid bones and soil.

Savoring green apples, what sinks gets seeded so deep
gets swallowed, and sprouts—

what lightning does to a willow
how evening rain undoes morning sun
what birds do to their own reflection, here is

something chiseled, here is sound pollution
the erasure
of stone.

What word exists for when the ocean moves us
standing still, for miles, across continents
that are colonized by none other than a soul

what word exists to replace soul with a thing so biological
you can prick its vein and donate platelets
count the leaves, count the loves

what word exists for when the names you scream are names
too raw to be sung at divine, reverberating decibels?

He points out every new hawk that arcs in circles
and now there are twelve, and the clock is rigid
symmetrical, and life goes on, windswept chimes
jangling, noticed in the unnoticing.

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