16 March 2006

Dana Levin

[from In the Surgical Theatre by Dana Levin]


Crushed mouse head on the picnic table—
       it is your thumb,
your tongue.
       Some part of you
hanging from the great owl’s mouth—
       What were you thinking when you took shelter here,
standing in a gray
       powder of droppings, tumors
of matted hair and bone
       rotting the floor of this abandoned barn—
       the crush and the blood. The live
       up in the eaves, the enormous, rotting nest—

You thought it was him, you thought it was all
turning toward the hills where the hares were running,
       their yellow coats gleaming like suns in the snow,
       the sharp-cocked claw—
And now you feel them,
       under your feet: the broken shells that are hers—

The great swoop and then you, little mouse,
       pinched up
by the skin of your nape,
       hovering above the white-streaked floor—
And that you wanted it, the dark fold of embrace,
       cradling you away
from the arctic wind
       whipping through these cankered walls—
The dark well
       of her open eye,
the beak, the lunge, the eating.

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