Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Poem for Halloween

 by      Susan Slaviero

Banshee Territory

You marvel at mosslight & owl-screech,
question if keening is important—the dirge
of bees swarming at the windowsills, the roosters
that only crow at night. And a boy said I can’t hear
anything. All the clocks have stopped chiming
at expected hours. He can see feminine shades
with tangled auburn hair seated on wedge-shaped
rocks, or perched at the tops of chimneys, hooded
crows. He sees a stoat, a weasel, a dark nostril
spotting this raddled mist. If you see a comb,
don’t pick it up. A silver lure, tightly strung
across black rivers & blood-basins. They are warm,
wanting. Their tongues unrooted, more pointed
than you’d believe. They are winding sheets,
women who’ve died from drowning, childbed
fevers. Later, you forget the sounds of mourning
waters, the dark stains on your shirt. You always
misplace yourself on the second Friday of the month,
when you’ve cashed your check, had too much bourbon,
left so many indelible kissmarks on dusty throats.

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