This entry is part 11 of 27 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Autumn 2014


Everywhere in the heart, country ravaged by famine, there are columns of dust where there used to be trees and promenades. Nothing leaps in the fountains but a suicide of bees. Somewhere its ruler is asleep, or does not know how to wake up. The elders consult the oracles, sacrificing their last few bones to produce instructions for breaking this curse. This is the only possible reason the heart accosts whoever comes near: it wants to know who is willing to travel beyond the ridges of the self, to stand in vigil thirty days and nights never once closing the eyes to sleep, until the bird of paradise comes to roost in the branches of a tree. Its mouth is a parasol that wants so dearly to be a song, in the same way sheets of hoarfrost on the ground want to turn into yards and yards of silk, their sheer gossamer slipping like water through the needle’s hundred eyes.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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