Gnawing coarse hair from
the ink-splattered eaves of the darkened house
they attempt to pull the survivor from its flood
but stop to comment on how dark his skin is
how wooden his face looks
when photographed on a horse facing west;
as if to name reeds piercing the horse’s neck: whale bones wrapped in turtle hide,
as if to reach into the loom’s ribs and wring bear blood from handspun red wool.
Copyright © 2009 Sherwin Bitsui
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.