Timothy Black ~ I Hold a Dead Flicker and Its Neck Rolls, Broken

What is the water content of your eye? Glaze black
and drawing flies from the crumple of a bread sack,
glue-stuck to the bottom of our trash can: It resides
unentombed not breathing, no respiration,
window smacked it down. I hold it aloft by the wings,
spread out like an angel. Feel awkward, don’t want
anyone to see. Want it gone. Mother-in-law says
there are numerous suicides by glass at her place,
a weekly occurrence. I won’t discuss matters of the heart
here—my concern is shallow: I have to call it “her” and “she”
not just “it” anymore. She has wonderful spots on her belly.
What’s the water content of her eye? Where does that water go?
Does it fill with rust? My son’s fish leapt from its heavy glass bowl,
died alone, sucked dust on linoleum. My son was heartbroken.

Life? Let me pontificate:

I step out of the post office and smell vanilla.
Only a woman can have this kind of scent.
I must look worried as I wonder
who it comes from. I check the license plates
and there is one from New Hampshire.
If life is a struck match, shouldn’t I smell
sulfur and black wood instead of a woman?
And if death is a match that is burned out,
shouldn’t she smell of hot, wet leather
instead of what she is—liquefying, drawing flies
more persistent than rigor mortis?

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