while the nail biting meat is sufficiently occupied, those who have electrostimulated their unmentionables will assume the lotus position and levitate for entry. don’t worry: the few witnesses will likely be written off by uncolorfuls as white-light purple-shroud finger-twirl-by-the-temple acid-popping sky-is-falling psychonauts, or rambling hyperactive unmedicated children in need of a time-out and an older, more glasses-wearing therapist. In the morning those uncolorfuls code crazy will simply be gone. Poof.
Two crows on the fence, waiting.
They tell me: Listen.
Am I dreaming?
Triple-lock the door.
I peak through the blinds. Two crows on the fence. Still waiting.
Do humans turn crow as purgatory, trapped observing the living with their kind-of-a-funny-stories and toddlers tied to harnesses and watch-checking clip-cloppers stomping concrete carpets rolled out to welcome rigamortis? Do crows bring death? DEATH, not scare-the-shit-out-of-movie-goers Tarot Death, where the card is played heavy-rings slow and the actress screams her curlers free before bolting from a candle-farm table glittered with moons and stars to meet piano-to-head closed-casket FIN. Not even real Tarot Death, where the hummus is surprise expired, or a cell phone falls into toilet and spares a happy unemployed the salty sulk of job offer.
And, okay this had better not be the Big Done, I’ve only just stitched the golden eagle to my crest, I’ve only now unrolled my scroll beyond the first few lines to reveal the big a-ha. You creepy trash collectors burdening my bins, what are you waiting for? What are you ready for? What do you know?
Will their stink of death render me gothy, prisoner of cliché adolescent silken moon POEtry, liquid black eyeliner streaking white-washed sun starved cheeks, costume coffin bookshelf dark magicians Latin names red and gold print jackets internal juke box Death in June black metal Jay-Z? Different just like everybody else, symbol to the air Ra-Ra, subversive just like everybody else (as above, so below) I’m a pirate I’m a fairy I’m a witch I’m a Tim Burton movie I’m a fucking black stain at the picnic. Look how well we all match at the funeral, parasol stars with corsets clamped. Not a spot of dust on the top hat.
They’re waiting for you, Crows, in the graveyard, by the angel statue that sometimes weeps. They’re waiting for both Thought and Memory. Come as a set, come as you are.
Well dammit, shit, for God’s sake, can I still read Rumi with your feathers in my face? Do crows fancy dervishes, whirling God intoxicated holy holy on earthbound playgrounds? Do they fancy Freyja flickers like me, twirling hair feet in air, Loki robbed and revenge plotting, deeper in the well for better sword crafting? Do black eyes seek amber mine as you peak through the blinds, do your feathers want my fingers, have your claws pre-drawn portraits? How did you find me? Did Odin send you? Tell me: how did you find me?
They follow me and my bike five miles over the river.
They sit on the wire while I wait for the bus, listening to an elderly man with a handlebar moustache (I name him Frank as all old men are Frank) tell stories about Belize and Coast-a-Ree-Kah to an Asian man half-listening between iphone glances. Frank sips coffee from an uncovered mug, like he walked out of the kitchen knowing his status as World’s Greatest Dad needed announcing exactly today. Ha ha ha, sip, ha ha ha. Crows?
Caw (Listen, Descendant of Fenrir.)
Frank lowers his cup and a droplet drips from lip, the concrete BOOM drums awake my hidden fur-lined ear.
(Close your eyes.)
Eyes closed (hear first, look later, it would be too much). Ghosts, nursery rhymes trapped in sidewalk cracks, spirits hobgoblining life from the nearly-living, prism locked reflections two dimensioned in humid air, at once alert to open. Yes. I can hear you.
Holy wow how’s it going she can hear did you notice she could too rah loo skippity skip skip hey she never loved me get me out of hello hi are you still listening ha ha hooray good to –
This is not the stuff of bus stops. I should be nude for this amniotic slip and slide, this running up the rabbit hole. Bus arrives my eyes dart to wire, amber to black, black to amber.
We will follow you. Twenty pairs of two, each two speaking as one. Caw.
At the top of the hill we’ll be waiting. Whisper when you ask of crows. Remember to whisper.
“Ladies first,” Frank gestures to the bus door. World’s Greatest Dad.
Whisper when you ask of crows. We’ll be waiting. Whisper.
If there’s one thing Uncle Bill taught us, it’s to never number pages.
a shrinking device and a shirt pocket will make me warmer. so many hearts undocumented, unheard by my alien recording devices ever hunting for a human who purrs. .
Orange striped cat lying dead in the road, a ring of bowed heads willing life back into limp unrolled tongue. Woman in a doorway grateful it wasn’t her dog, waiting on the lawsuit. Pick up the cat Amanda, pick it up. This is important. You’ll remember this. Instead I keep staring. Some wonder crone finally stops and doesn’t blink just scoops and carries cat to a more peaceful traffic-free aria though it’s already ended.
This memory strong in my mind biking home I slam on the brakes at the site of flattened crow and peal body from the road for tree lawn decomposing while the dead’s friends look on, remembering.
We might not be dead at 30 like the pilgrims but we might as well be, sitting in our living rooms bitching between hotdog bites and commercial breaks about politicians and their decision making before returning to our regularly scheduled nothing-better-to-do, laughing at Asian teenagers falling off flotation devices into blue-dyed swimming pools while wearing helmets and throwing up both thumbs to an army of white-man cameras.
It’s to convince the most serial killer self that underneath the bullshit core there’s a miner 49 just waiting to strap on a hat and suit and stumble into the mine even before the canary’s come back.
Tiny pictures all over my desk an altar of irritation towards the word MOISTURE, simpering sulking word dragging faces into cow cud MOIS-TURE.
hand on thigh circles a birthmark threatening my theory of being spawned while the sun sets fast and I worry of winter. me pretending to look at passersby with their tiny white socks and duck shoes and khaki shorts while thinking about your hand, full poetry on display protruding veins I want to strum. eyes slide to the left and craft your profile onto my coin, hammered hard by life’s frustration but still sneaky enough to smirk. knuckle in mouth channels fake concentration while half-closed lids plot plans for my own hand that could end in arrest if I’m not careful. I adjust my leg to accommodate other parts of you imagined traveling softest hidden skin, drinking deep every finger curve crease line fingertip sun scorched wrist, and it’s the wrist where the rings of my own fingers click and coax your hand a naked inch higher.
In Portland things in a pink box are always donuts.
and someone is yelling at me through the phone about how you should be married by now with all this love in your face you ingrate, and I say which face on what head? and he says all of them and I hadn’t considered that.
you don’t notice how my prehistoric hands sculpt a keyboard or how important cuddle dissolve is to my ever-wrestled wrangling.
No: I’m a one-eyed liar blind to my thousand tricks trapping bodies in barbed wire until even intestines entangle. Even my open is pin from grenade. My only recipe blows up the room.
The house will never be clean unless we can afford a maid service, and we’ll only eat when we both remember to (not often), and we’ll both pull away just when we achieve perfect closeness and you’ll accuse me of getting the wrong cat food on purpose and I’ll say you know that’s a sore spot of mine. I’ll get lost in the bathroom mirror and you’ll wonder what’s taking so fucking long, and I’ll say I’ve finally pinpointed the location of my superior self and I’m negotiating her release. This used to be the sort of thing to intrigue you but now you’re yelling about us having tickets for something, can’t even remember what but they were a give away and I shout that I’ve nearly talked her down, she’s smiling from the other side, so serene about something I don’t understand but she’s whispering directions. Just one sharp left and then two right turns, knock-twice-pause-knock, and when I arrive I’ll be naked and every inch of me will be slippery.
And then you say: do we have to be late for everything?