Two Owls

tree_bark_smallerOne an outline: simplest
shape, same dark
as the barn roof, and the horizon
I wanted to walk toward
and not stop.

Much later, the second, among
trees. A quickness,
wordless at first,
from the corner of my eye,
as everything huge arrives
without a name; then
the easy noises I called back,
a child’s lexicon: big, brown,
strong. Almost

not there, gone so fast, wings
outside and in—the shocked velvet
of woods pulled over my head
like the blanket you spread
across me, our first weekend
away from school and drunk.
I fell into the haze of wine
like falling from the barn’s peaked hill
of hay, that itch I’d carry
all day beneath my clothes—
straw-slivers and the welter
of stars where nettles
slapped my calves. A child’s
lexicon: love, I, you.
Under knitted squares, the feather and hush
of different skin, I slept until you spoke
and woke me. Almost not there, gone
so fast: your voice, my first face.

(From Keeper. Also published on Poetry Daily.)


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