The Throat
for Fred Schmalz

If harkening
a bird
for its throat
we hear you
call the box syrinx
as we’re its root
and flower like clung phlox
fellates the song in passing
a crisp wind of red apples
opens the seam between our eyes
but this isn’t about about
it’s a noun flown verb
designed to hurt slowly
in a foraged ear
we go planting
plaintive our shovels
which Arcadian
do howl
for sex’s plunge
I crowd everything
to know it’s there
with us inside it
I plumb the bass’s gravel
for sex and for babble
until we can split our throats
double like lyrebird and nightingale do
and assume a richer text
all fire in our phlox
now mingled in breast
we bless the virgins
for their kindling
we really bellow
every day
every wind
so to spin
these burning flowers
into crowns for friends
and crowns for our enemies
and crowns for those between

The Bones
for Joshua Beckman

Black conflagration
these birds
crowding the eave
to rouse sun
back its plausible ire
I can’t count how
burnt even one day scrapes
a starling’s lung from flight
but I wasn’t made so much
as just accumulated in the rending
like all of light’s creatures
I sneeze upon seeing myself
or throw my own
bones into the street
like white confetti
for night’s parade
ever marches
ever falls
out of step
with the moon
which is government too
and curses the sea
with vulgar fluctuations of sentiment
for having been pulled so
close as to taste in collision
I throw every white raveling bone
to pile and mingle there
where a clavicle might chance
to keep my friend’s
winter coat hung well
my friend’s street
is my ossuary
cuddling shapes
to render
in neighborly sculpture
a chalky frame
to paste with leaves
and fill with sleep
and dream of black starlings
who laugh and burst forth
in sudden tendrils of darkest fire


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