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.