Betrayal and the Crow
Once, when your wings 
   were white, you kept the favor
of Apollo, one crow for sorrow.
     You paid for
your knowledge with your tongue, your feathers
 
burned to ash.
   Now you hunt in the lime-white dusk,
turning your ripe eye to the ground. Your lucid
     lonely caw
from wild cherry trees, paper birch,
 
buries itself
   beneath the skin of our house 
so that when we make love it’s always fucking:
     our hollow 
breastbones and hips, hapless tinder, rub
 
against autumn’s
   inevitable angle
of decline. The familiar sparrows and wrens
     don’t linger
in yesterday’s matted fur, bruised flesh,
 
or bother with
   the blunt black-and-white gestures
of gods and men. In a ditch before the trees,
     the wounded
know the final chiaroscuro—
 
your curious 
   shadow. Like myth’s weathervane
the change at last delivers: the gods punished 
     envoys for
their crimes, all animal we labor.
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