Brass couplets drift across concrete, succumb to shattered simile
relieved only by the bend of her knee, an elbow resting on
tombstone. The wings of her hipbones line up without comment,
her wet fingers spoon salt.
She is Cassiopeia, weeping on a day without Gods.
Her husband is dead; or he has disappeared. He has left no note:
he will be met by no one: there is no one to save him. Sheet
lightning slumbers lightly, ruffles, swells, increases the trees.
She follows; she walks or is carried a long way, across sand dunes
or a river swallowing grass. She was born in July: but now she
feels like January. When she returns, it is from a world after the
end of the world, months later. No one remembers.
Alone & unannounced she is a contraction in the clouds. She turns
her head & cannot see the children in the trees. Down hand over
hand from the moon on a rope.
A woman in black & white in a bare bones kitchen. With a blank
mind she licks her fingers.
Poor driftwood! Poor bird! Rose to bone to air to the shrug
of star. In caesura yes another dumb animal making that final
Emily Carr has published two books of poetry: directions for flying (Furniture Press 2010) and 13 Ways of Happily: Books 1 & 2 (Parlor Press 2011), the latter of which was chosen by Cole Swensen as the winner of the 2009 New Measures Prize. Excerpts from The Weights of Heaven, Emily’s autobiography-in-progress, were published in the Summer 2011 Adaptations Issue of The Western Humanities Review. For a video performance of excerpts from Name Your Bird Without a Gun, visit www.ifshedrawsadoor.com.
“‘nock end (n.)’: maybe the man driving, / smoking & singing / maybe the woman / on the edge of the porch / steeled / fleeing”