Fatalism

~ after “El Flautista” (“The Flutist”), Remedios Varo; 1955

A cardinal touches down on a Japanese maple
but can’t tell us where they’ve taken

all the children. We take turns watching,
we take turns playing songs for the mothers:

their grief, our grief, might merge
to form a thing that could unseal a stone

from the mountain. Only there is no one
walking out into the light as if resurrected.

That copper-tinged wind, that citadel
whose once beautiful blueprint is breaking.

The light, too, is breaking; or in the throes
of change. My face is the inside of a shell up-

turned to the moon. A rune, a coelacanth.
Night-blooming cereus stranded in time.

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