Mommy Crow (2009)

e.p. hall



The Emperor’s Note

I put your note in the emperor’s clothes, where its total lack of warmth would soften slightly. Then, watched his gown sweeping over the ground, and I thought for just a moment that you loved me--that you were searching for me in the snow. I hung a net in the back of my head and I kept it there to catch the fate that stalked me. Trapped in a bag with a cold pile of stones, I returned to find the sack was torn and empty--that it was me who it would drown. It put me in a bag full of your letters, then it pushed me down with bony hands through snow-covered water.

Mommy Crow

Carry the metaphor down from the attic and tuck it into our nest. Take down the paranoid eyes from the airplane and bury them in your chest. Lay down beside me, your father’s not coming back. Bury the centaur under the hedges and water it with your eyes. The horses are thundering down, down the mountain, pulling blankets of sky. Flew into fog, I was absolved, I was alone with your skin and bones.

The Shade

The camera sat in the doorway, beneath all the clouds in the hallway. The chemicals seeped through the bedspread. Your feathers they met as your wings met and drew back, when I ran to meet you. I had plans to see you. I brought tulips and stones. But think of the horses in cave lines, the spiders that creep down the wind chimes. Do you believe what they tell you, the wires that hang in your bedroom and sting you, like the mouths of dragons, where our songs were mourning between fire and bone. Do you make sketches of movement, like leaves scratching over a window. The shade is where we both are going.


Gone are the Thoughts of Sparrows

Gone are the thoughts of sparrows, carried them off with a wheelbarrow. And as the sun was going down the cops were sliding in the windows, and as the sun was going out, the cops were sliding in the windows…way out. Carved out the shape of bird wings, carved them into the ceiling and as the sun was going down the cops were sliding in the windows and as the sun was going out the cops were sliding out the windows…way out.



Don’t you want to meet him in the churchyard and lean against the wall with wilting flowers in your hair and all the anger in the air still on your clothes. Would you rather carve your name in pavement or be the lonely ampersand curled up into a ball and reaching out before you fall out of the sentence. Maybe they will chase you with a hatchet but will you hide again under that canopy of trees or will you listen to the leaves and bare your bones. Don’t you want to meet him in the churchyard and lean against the wall with wilting flowers in your hair and all the anger in the air still on your clothes.



Water Tower

Water tower, I will meet you right here where the wet’s encased in dry. Where the blood stays in the vein and tears stay in the eye. Where the spiders in the trees sit motionless and stare--they will breathe so silent we will hardly know they’re there. Water tower, I will meet you right here where the grass stands straight and still, where the demons in your bones are subject to your will, where the ghosts of heavy rain suspend from strings of sky. You will say the safest thing and keep your new suit dry. Lay down.



(Go the Sun Down)


The White Bird, In Springtime, Will Find You

When the mirrors all draw to a central point and gravity swallows the shapes in the glass, the white bird, in springtime, will find you. She will lead you down flowered paths. You may think you should float down a creek bed, that your heart will be safer in sand, but the white bird , in springtime, will find you. She will trap you and ruin your plans.


The Secrets Change, They Melt and Freeze

Make a point, stab it through the bowels of reason, and hide the corpse in the bag you put the leaves in. The secrets change, they melt and freeze with changing seasons. The car is cold and you speak clumsily of reasons. But in the sun is where I want you, where it all began. The air is hard and I can tell you’re getting bolder. The air is harder, sky is larger and it's colder. The secrets change they melt and freeze with changing seasons, the air is hard and I am rotting in the leaf bin. The empty pages, piles of yellow pages, I will wear you out. The empty corners, cardboard box of war wounds, I will wear you out.



(Chase Scene Through the Silent Forest)



Ladders and Mirrors

Find the secret metric in the parlor, separate the ladders from the mirrors, carry out the fire with the water. (I've been running through buildings, hollowed out shells of factories.) Just around the corner there’s a shaking, out of breath equation, slumped along the wall and praying safety for where he has hidden. He carried out the fire with the water. But through the study door the telephone rang out, like a shaking voice it sang out and made me drop my toast, but the same cold hand that turned the globe tapped his message in a faint Morse code, and I walked out looking like a white ghost.


Analysis of Variance

How long must things be different before they are different. Like when the rising noises that sweep across the sidewalk turn into an unfamiliar sound, or the moment you lifted your pen from the shuddering cursive tangle of your first name and paused before setting it down on the page again. I woke up wondering about this and felt afraid, and I thought of the long tail of that wheezing distribution, stretching out its wispy arm into the future--some infinite knife slicing into the thick base of the next curve to arise: the green grassed hill where a person might finally lie down and remember nothing. But maybe it's good enough to form, with these clever hands of ours, such sculptured worlds--ink the boundaries of one from the other, and lie new categories into existence, and then climb, quietly and peacefully, upward under willow trees.