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