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Outside the Window Today

It is cold.
Dubious rain of gold casting its fall
Over eyes that first fall to stone and shade
Until no more

Light is seen.
Against its fur’s dull sheen the very earth
Shimmers, each claw on earth carefully laid
While black eyes keen

Search for prey.
Beneath crag hard and grey in fear I hide
That night would cover hide and scent to fade,
And in this way

Hope for morn.
Hold!—with fury silence torn—a mournful voice
A most terrible voice of terror bayed;
All hope shorn

I must run.
All attempt at escape is shunned with hunger bred
Across nights of want, bred in sleepful days:
My will is done

Of a Girl in Mizque

Little fledgling,
Plush-feathered innocent,
Pushed resistant from her nest—
Better broken neck been gifted than land
on this supay’s ledge.

Now, blood-lusty
Doors open behind which horrors worst imagined
He steps out to hush and gasp and her barely
Mature wings and tips shrouding still
Soft plumage.

In death’s black eye
Mother and daughter become one as
Passersby silent collaborate through
Shrieks muffled by silence stained
Cherry down.

Pennons unfurled,
Intended to shade from hanan pacha’s crest,
In this battered bird a takallouf veil
Woven sinews of cloud
Doused and grounded.

Her tender grey will never darken,
Determined flight in stripes lie low.

Incomplete…March 9 2011

A staircase always goes down, never up.

Winged bats and books snatching up dreams as they pass by
And you would think it was a hunt
But it’s not.
Accidental destruction, we have to make up stories
To tell us otherwise.
Stories, fiction, blurry tapestry on blank walls all around.

I hear the huat huat of tiled feet always forward going
Or stop or go, nothing else,
Why is there nothing else?

No Snow

Those crystalline ornaments I knew as a child
Don’t cover up anything in this dry, hateful heat;
No merry-lolling in these streets—
Somewhere, a deep-throated warbler, insatiate, sighs.

This is what I was told would happen —harbinger
Of clogged cloaca and those unfinished nightmares
That disappoint and leave one bare
Before new day’s start and endless pointing fingers—

Even Plath could see the muffle and mute it gives
To blues and reds, but here there is no renovation,
Just the steady deterioration
Of a weary mutt holding on stubbornly to life.

Cochabamba Mountain-Finch

Gnarled branches make a lonely home
To this finch along Tunari’s slope.
Cloud-cut roses, better made

For isolated battle, quiver beneath
Its grasping claws, soft pomegranate
Plumage pressed against peeling bark;

Dark reptilian scales hard as curse’s shell
Give way—they must.
There are few birds of this species,

All bound to subsist in this landscape
Of polylepis and solitude,
A dying bird and a dying forest

Living together: one gives to the other song,
The other to the one rest.
Beneath the laughing sun

Root deepens for coveted drink
Beak scours for scattered seed
And why?

An unlikely pair
Determined against extinction.

A Dead Cat on Aniceto Padilla

There is a cat lying in the dirt,
Curled against dawn’s spreading thighs—
His neck, a futile crowbar between
Gravel scratch pad and placid chine.

Feet advancing, stepping down the curb
Through steel dogs towards those hated
Moments, mind behind overlying
Humus throne aside tar-striped

Day’s king. I covet this peaceful rule
Amidst stone and weeds, prostrate
Heritor of fallatial dotage,
Stiff sceptre in hand of late-

Coming virgin turned whore.