Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Runaway Bunny, II

Empty Nest

... either the empty I is stuffed full of world or it is submerged in the flood of the world
-- Martin Buber

Amidst last winter’s restless, unswept ash,
behind the cinder-laden grate, she found
a bird’s nest, tumbledown and skeletal.
It fit exactly in one upturned palm,
its hollow in her hollow. This is mine.

Her chimney, newly capped, no longer rang
with twittering calls and canticles; the sky
at vespers teemed with swift congregations
darting for shadows, evicted from the street’s
mute ranks of endstopped flues. Leave the light on.

She took the brittle nest, teased out the tracts --
cord, hair, skin slough, milk teeth, old-moon nails --
and wove them through another nest, her own,
her thicket of flux and synapse, swatched with ghosts.
Anions, cats’-eyes, blinked. I. I can’t sleep.

But she will. The porchlight flickers, fails.
Moths scatter, drawn toward other numina.
Swollen windchests finally exhale.
and voices, not human, not angelic, lift
through soot and brick into the terrible octaves

where, twig by twig, the empty nests unweave.


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