I breathe differently up here.
The wind across the river is busy
with commerce and worship, columns
at my doors. Rooms from the upper city
in my veins, in my bones I feel it—
a slow drip over stones. When the seasons
break free, I cower and lean to beginnings,
sheath-wet. I’ve found no comfort here. Wisps
of sorrow rip their clothes off and skip
down that street that hasn’t been used
since last summer. I am a small song now,
standing poised on the stairs. I’ve gathered
my shadows like talismans. I let them twitch
in my lap. I am beating all my wings. Everyone
in me is a bird. I have seen the sparks fly out.
This can’t be the only life there is. Ghost-heart
of this place, this dream, I give it a shove
and it lifts off in blackness, like revelation.
Is this the storm’s heart, a night flowing
with crows? I have found the warm caves
in the woods, filled them with silks, sedatives,
cravings—sweet weight. The sun is against me.
The moon will not have me. The weeds
whine: I’m cold. I’m cold all over.