They say not the dove first but the raven,
sent out to fly back and forth across the earth
all in shadow, until the waters had dried up
and the penitent returned with their paired
beasts and the seeds of future gardens
pressed in the crevices of their palms.
But memory, long and bright in the sun,
shrivels in darkness or solitude. In the stories,
the bird is only a herald: it brings back
proof that something in the void sustains,
with wings that change color too: not always
sooty or dark, but touched with flame
like a breast or the fruit of a heart
offered up to the soul. And oh it wants
so much to be dissolved in the hour of its
most brooding need— what it seeks in the cup
not charity but some form of kindness, mercy.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.
*and after Clive Hicks-Jenkins’ “The Prophet Fed by a Raven”