Mice drink the rainwater before dying by
the poison we set in the cupboard for them.
They come for the birdseed, and winter
is so grey here the sight of a single cardinal
can keep us warm for days. We’ll justify
anything—and by we, I mean I, and by
I, I mean we, with our man-is-the-
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after Encounters at the End of the World by Werner Herzog With booms & chirrs seals speak under the ice of an ocean frozen over. Stationary ocean. Electrified song. Color: snow day with autumn leaves inside it, glassene sheers of cantaloupe & kiwi on lavender, gunmetal, jetwing— When you rode the elephant through the puncture, the first syllable of my name parted the deep with your beautiful hand. Sparrow shuddered in her dustbath, swath of pleasure raked up & out. This is where I sat in the avalanche. In winter, where I was born, you pulled a cord of silk in your beautiful hand. I heard nothing under the ice. Bye bye now, our people would say. Bye bye later. First, song, a detonation— then white everywhere.
Kathy Fagan is the author of four books of poetry: Lip (Eastern Washington University Press, 2009); The Charm (Zoo Press, 2002); Moving & St. Rage (University of North Texas Press, 1999), winner of the 1998 Vassar Miller Prize for Poetry; and The Raft (Dutton Press, 1985), winner of the National Poetry Series.