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An ax in his hand,

he heard a crow digging wren eggs

from beaks tied with eyelash hair

and asked the summer,

“What happened in the ellipses?

What happened when gunfire blew into their speech

and left one language hanging by a nail

at the entrance of mouths

flooded with such things as the down of drowned herons

and the mud-covered hooves of drought

kicking at the rain-stained earth

devoured by minutes and seconds

sticking to their shoes like sap,

their onions peeled back,

bees dangling like half moths out of their eyes?”

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

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.

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