Across the courtroom, Crow sits.
His black feathers litter the floor,
a hearse of mahogany boards.
Arraigned by the universe, he is bound
to try some old tricks – but Dove,
his opposite and cancellation, now
stands with a sigh, coos and points.
On the projector the horse’s dark body
whose beautiful and terrible hooves
are tied. “Did you create this nightmare?”
Crow’s mouth opens, and out pour stars
Books, portents. Series of things fleeing.
Crow feather-bunches up into fists
little tight handfuls of blackness.
He parrots back “Nightmare, nightmare”
Dove sighs again, changes the slide.
A schedule for housework – “and these,
your claw marks but I see…
Crow your name is not here.
Do you think a horse deserves
this kind of torture?” Oh bright Dove.
By this point all Crow’s feathers
are out. He’s a plucked little terror.
Dove just looks sad. “Sweep that up, please.”
They work, while Crow is croaking
“god’s nightmare. god’s. violent…”
But it’s too late. I’m leaving.
Walking past the curled up
wormlike bird on the stand, and out,
I drop my copy of the book in the dullness,
hold open the door and Dove walks with.
Her feathers’ pearlescence gallops across.
We talk about her day, and I make her tea.