The Air Is Thick As A Tongue,
the piano has pumpkins growing through its teeth,
rivers of cats in bags, broken brick foundations catfish and weeds.
The piano is asleep, dreaming of parking-lot gulls, of trashheaps and bonfires
the teeth of elephants, of iron nails, it is a logjam in a river, and the silence piles up.
The birdcage has a doll in it
and maybe that’s enough, maybe it never liked
the wild thing it held inside it
the shining black eye of its terror
staring out as we poked seed through the bars
trying to fatten it.
The bird is dead.
It’s snowing into the tulips.
The mice have left your attic,
your vigil and your silence still squat upstairs
and comb their long and greasy hair.
We played your records–
the piano was dreaming of the harp in its stomach
the records said the same thing they always do,
and stopped when they came to the end, again.
Jacob Rakovan is a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellow. An Appalachian writer in exile, he is a current resident of Rochester, NY. http://jacob-rakovan.blogspot.com/
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