|Arsenic Lobster poetry journal||
What version of me thought of death as a small,
bright house I’d row toward, lux aeterna on its lintel—
the doorway I’d walk through on a wintry night
while blackbirds sat crowned with snow,
wings glinting an elegy for the separations I failed to mend.
I remember what I learned as a child,
to attend every small thing: pull strawberries
off their low plants, smell rain coming over the hills,
close my eyes to the dark and count breaths
until I dream of a blackbird lying in a field, flightless.
The blackbird’s beak gaped in snow.
The blackbird an open grave.
There’s always another blackbird: swooped, then stopped
with a cocked head, looking this way–the way
through my bones into being forgotten. The language is a bruise
under my tongue: We betray the body. We handle
the tools. The taste is salt at birth or a drowning.
In some way, my ribs are bound to the earth.
This blessing blackened, cracking
the way no longer lit. And the change is a fallen blackbird.
I’m inside the change. The light moving across the old
fields is me moving beyond skin,
beyond such a brittle skein, within this
procession. O, such shining, shining feathers,
their glisten, death’s bone
in my bread.
About Nicole Rollender