Susan Scarlata



from To Light A Bird A Word A Third


She appeared enclosed           seeing lamplight


in window as home         this nest


of rooms          or roadside benches      when I first saw


resemblance               in that freshly cut stone


Rosewood and refuge     becoming wet ash          each out


in certain slant      while corners intuit the still


toys in tall grass         and other solitary creatures


at the foot of the dresser


shoes made of wax and birds in full bloom




* * *


Pushing off from solemn geography


beginning in time         where there is none


Not rivers or birds       but all tethered together


where lamps keep constant vigil    I am peculiar


jurisdictions relinquish                  rules of engagement


Bones and their trappings        raw materials for nests


running in frost         is still not the killer          but the snowshoe hare


huddled in silence         dragging in the line of light


the red on its white         the sentences all made



* * *


Mapping my boundaries


rivers to the one side         birds to the other


Prosecution continues failing          insufficient investigation


lack of experts witnessed       we are where


we are not       skeletons in nests would have


established Smith as    not the killer


What we look into        selves         the hare


swiftly across frost       stops silent


in sentences     sits hind between back legs


requesting evidence     pricks ears long to horizon


then the truce         the first hare I saw


dragged one leg behind it



* * *




Today I am       wanting in part      denying


in part      houses like fireflies in hollows


of hills       for every full skin


how many empties    gone missing    lamp lit in window


wealth             potlucking from world


I      a perpetual student of breath      light on a bocce ball


in a Montana lot    the sheen          of steel sinks


Rusty uses her stump       like we might use hands


feeling around                   for what will


call us out                      of our         selves