Magazine article World Literature Today

Two Poems

Magazine article World Literature Today

Two Poems

Article excerpt

Two Crows in a Sandbox

One at first,

using the pincer of his beak

to break apart the grains

and dismiss them. He struts, but gingerly.

What confidence

flight gives is tempered by

these increments.

Ah, the danger of an audience.

His progress is plotting, by degrees,

watched by the likes

of me. He turns over

a skinny gold disk, he cries

his phlegmy cry.

Quiet for days, I know

that sound and its reason.

His friend steps in,

prismatic, flips the foiled thing.

Once, my husband

twisted offhis wedding ring

and threw it into weeds. Same stance,

same defeat, dry-eyed, like this

we rummaged.

Large Gray Dog

for Elizabeth Bishop

To break the tick-tock of sleep/

read/sleep, sick

with myself, I walked to the Opéra Garnier

to sit in the high cheap seats

of Swan Lake.

Going out was the victory. Crossing

the bridge etched with, "the silence

of the sea," I waited awhile on that wave

for the wind to wake me.

In one direction, the sky was brooding;

in the opposite: Impressionistic,

magnificent. …

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