Circling
Elizabeth Glixman

The crows are calling
they converge on the tops of blank branches
the network of their voices is raging and purple veined.
A crow is in peril filled with hunger.
There are silent crows walking the frozen grass
slicked up by the dew like a hairdresser using mousse
Watching.
The way the birds walk
around the house makes me think
I am a holy relic.
They move in circles. One time two times three
Times, and they bow to the sculpted icicles of grass.
It is colder now than when the enlightened ones were here.
At five o’clock the night is formed. Glaciers appear
on the pond where Atlantis hides in my yard.
And the crows are asleep in branches high
above the bus exhaust and white faced moon
transcending they rest.
I cannot see every bird
Their voices are quiet.
Air is stiff as if the hairdresser who styled the grass
Assembled the night,
whipped it up like egg whites in meringue
pies bitter to the taste.
My hair is pigeon gray.
The clouds spread hard pillows
against the metal top of the world
And the crows in their privacy
circle the temple like drunks
Still in my sleep my hair shines
a fluorescent white
a ghost like thinness that haunts
and I glimmer as a diamond
the mystery of black birds waking up from
bad dreams to melt the frozen land
Before returning to sleep. Ride to Slaughter
You might wonder what a horse thinks
on his way to the slaughter house
The sense of dim error in the air
the lack of water
the other horse’s shoves leaning him into the highway
Sweet hay, the words I love you
are lost in the trash bin at the rest stop
where the driver stopped
to pick his nose
to heat his blood with sweet coffee
The breathless windowless ride
the motion of the van hauling him to finality
Other’s faces flicker eyes immense
Does he tremble still with the dream
as he looks?
The shepherd dog in Korea
would be dead
before the man at the rest stop finished his drink
He wagged his tail
hoping the hand that was to skin him
might look into his eyes
Might change its motions
And caress


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