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Two Crows, 2:36AM (1) - Amanda Sledz

Amanda Sledz

300 Feet Tall and Counting

Two Crows, 2:36AM (1)

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2:36AM

Two crows on the fence, waiting.

They tell me: Listen.

I do.

Listen harder.

Am I dreaming?

No.

Perfect.

Listen.

Fine.

Triple-lock the door.

I peak through the blinds. Two crows on the fence. Still waiting.

Caw.

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?

Caw.

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.

CAW.

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?

Caw.

They follow me and my bike five miles over the river.

Caw.

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 –

Caw.

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.

Caw.

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One Comment

  1. oh boy…that was goosebump inducing….reminded me of something…but what….but what….

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