[from Henri Cole's Blackbird and Wolf, 2007]
I see you sitting erect on my fire escape,
plucking at your dinner of flayed mouse,
like the red strings of a harp, choking a bit
on the venous blue flesh and hemorrhaging tail.
With your perfect black-and-white thief's mask,
you look like a stuffed bird in a glass case,
somewhere between the animal and human life.
The love word is far away. Can you see me?
I am a man. No one has what I have:
my long clean hands, my bored lips. This is my home:
Woof woof, the dog utters, afraid of emptiness,
as I am, so my soul attaches itself to things,
trying to create something neither confessional
nor abstract, like the moon breaking through the pines.
Blackbird and Wolf: Poems