You could not feel it as I roped your hands
to step right off the field. The fallow mud
the only witness to my boots that spilled
a yellow straw in night. A sallow blue.
Myself I must remake, while you remain,
and age, a frenzy still upon the stake.
I’ll take your home. I’ll peer and picture grass
eclipsing rags. This is your normal state,
remember this: my eagle comes to claim
your eyes. I’ll do the job of watching now,
you widows to the staw. I’ll beat that voice
I stole against the wall, it mingles with
the dead that call to slip their given names.
A soldier makes a list of those that pass.
When rhyme recalls us to each death we have
unseen then nothing sounds the same as life.
The eyes roll back, the mass that’s always there.
We dance the ordered steps, obscure the sense
of thought: white owls dress in this white moon.
So blind, their bodies slant the rain that shines
On thatch. Say kind, the ports are eyes, say death,
say no more sea. What fields can’t tell, our hands
are tied, they grow. This straw man born from rags
disrobes the birds, surveys the earth that rolls
away, no more. It glares. It wants to stitch
your mouth, it feels. Your fingers reach the lips,
they taste like grass, is death, this ridge of sound.
A narrow fellow in the grass returns
askew in Clare, its rails in veils of green,
its girders slid or kink in ground decay.
You must have met this bend of loss before
we risk this space a broken tooth can’t mend.
If friendship needs appearance I have failed
to see across its void. Their bones disclosed
her mouth divides and combs the wreck alone
for skin. I know, a row of zeros draws
us in to parse her now a laser scans
a tin. Our words are rations in this war,
that’s not in Clare, where Norman turrets warn
old skies in need of use. I fix her face
to mine, we tighten or efface: the snake.