Ariel Gordon

Afterbirth: the chorus

Crows' vocalisations are complex and poorly understood.

- From the Wikipedia entry on crows.

The whole world wide, every day,

Fly Hugin and Munin;

I worry lest Hugin should fall in flight,

Yet more I fear for Munin.

- From the Grímnismál, in the voice of Grímnir, one of the many 

guises of the Norse god Odin.

You squawk the angry hunger of the first few notes

twigs the crow in the tree outside

palpitating the branches the loft of the elm canopy

and the crow having stayed through the hot night

the murderous morning

squawks back

both of you outraged

at the drops that run down your chin

down the side of my heavy tit

You squawk turning like a plucked thing on a spit

out the window the city smells

of burnt feathers dust

and when I take you away from the tit

blood ringing your beaky little mouth

the chorus only crows louder

You squawk like some one-eyed god

you can't see beyond my face the shadows

in the fall of my hair your night

your canopy

and I wonder what the crow has told you of the day

finally mouth full you open an eye

scan the room and suck

until you fall away from me dreaming

of a giant tit streaming

the crow dreams the same

only ripe and dead