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I bite my eyes shut between these songs.

They are the sounds of blackened insect husks

folded over elk teeth in a tin can,

they are gull wings fattening on cold air

flapping in a paper sack on the chlorine-stained floor.

They curl in corners, spiked and black-thatched,

stomp across the living-room ceiling,

pull our hair one strand at a time from electric sockets

and paint our stems with sand in the kitchen sink.

They speak a double helix,

zigzag a tree trunk,

bark the tips of its leaves with cracked amber—

they plant whispers where shouts incinerate into hisses.

from Flood SongFind it in the library

Copyright © 2009 Sherwin Bitsui
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Poems Sherwin Bitsui

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