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Story

They loved these things. They loved the trees

the sheep the windows of the sun. They loved the sun

and called the sun the sun. They called the sun the birds

and then the sheep and then it rained and then they ate.

They ate the sheep, the birds, the sun, and then the rain.

The rain came and they loved it and they loved the little

trees. They loved the trees and also ships and little

windows of the sun. They loved the thing called sun, the trees,

the birds, the sheep, the windows of the ship and also rain.

They asked about the sheep and also birds and then the sun.

They told the stories of the birds they knew and then they ate.

They ate the birds in stories that had sheep and ships and birds.

They told the stories of the birds to add it to the birds.

They added to the birds to then subtract it from the little

sheep. They fell asleep, the birds in films that fell asleep and ate.

They asked, as birds, to be the birds, in stories that had trees,

in the windows of the ships that rocked beneath the sun.

They built the ships that were the ships in stories with the rain.

They ate the rain, the birds, the sheep, the ships beneath the rain.

The rain came and they loved it like they loved the little birds.

They looked like birds, the birds they were, of keyholes and the sun,

far from the ships, the rain, the burning sheep, the little

windows of themselves with teeth like tiny trees

that from the trees looked out of rain storms where they ate.

They sat in shadow of the dawn with sheep that ate

the trees with birds that starred in films and stared up at the rain,

collectively and alone, and with the sheep in trees

that were the doorways of the sun, dangerous, unlike the birds,

where the sheep were, having flown away, in little

hearts of song, the song of the sheep which was the doorway of the sun,

and from the doorway of the sun they were all there beneath the sun,

the birds in films, the sheep with trees, the doorways where they ate,

having fallen asleep, beside the sun, up to the sides of the ships, little,

tired, being animals and trees, gesticulating wildly, in the rain

that came inside the film beside the trees, before the birds

arrived as birds, graceful, tired, burned down like the burning little trees

that had always been the trees, that had been there near the sun,

that had harbored all the birds, having eaten what was ate,

inside the rain near little ships with sheep in shadows of the sun.

from Black Dog SongsFind more by Lisa Jarnot at the library

Copyright © 2003 Lisa Jarnot
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.

Published in Lisa Jarnot Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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