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