You think you can return to that place,
_____reed-rift and smelling of blackbirds’
_________________________oily feathers. The flickered burning
of our faces held under the wet sky, one illumination_____after another.

_____Dearest friend, remember the slick want
_________________________of our mouths. How we pressed
them to the earth and raised her hackles. Too often
the prairie heats its blade against our ribs—
_____a promise to end every horizon.

_______________________________So now gather
your hair in preparation of reaping —________sing hallelujah,________sing jettison
_____________and we’ll rise ravenous and repenting.

You know as well as I the mass of carcass
in the weight of these small castings.______Fold yourself into a prism —
_____________whatever we reflect can’t come back.

_____________Just the flies. Just
the eternity of dead leaves and their skyward
_____pandering. You ask me where our house has gone
and I’m not sure if I should say_________________burned or buried.
__________________The clotheslines have all gone slack and want
our necks.

_____________In your next life,
come back frog. They’ll covet your legs, but no one
_____________________________________can forget your calling.

Margaret Cipriano