This entry is part 55 of 73 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2011-12


“God gave a loaf to every bird…” ~ Emily Dickinson

When the fever is a dark flower
and the flower will not break, herbalists
come in the night with a bowl of warm water.

On its limpid face, they’ll throw grains
of rice, the white of an egg. O spirits
and your furtive dictation: clouds form,

lines run. I cannot read the language
you harvest, the serifs spiraled into secret
hexes. Who cast the spell I’ve labored under

all this time? My hot pulse beats under
the collarbone. I sleep under the reeling
stars. The sheen of skin blazons the pan.


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