one crow sorrow
two crows joy
three crows a wedding
four crows a boy
five crows silver
six crows gold
seven crows a secret
that has never been told.
i suppose my secret is that i never told him that he is a blackbird.
he is all sleep-crooked eyelashes, dark and glossy, and his wingspan
is over seven feet long which seems big enough to pull down the sky.
i could tell him about birds as cliche symbols but his mouth is forceful,
his body is warm and needy and there is no room for literature in bed.
my hands flutter needlessly against his shoulders and i hope
i am a bird of paradise but in truth i am no bird at all.
i guess my secret could also be that i want to marry him
and bind his jagged elbows tight and teach him about earthly things
like poetry and not making me cry. he will fuck up, i know this.
he has before. when it happens again i will sob about useless symbolism
and nursery rhymes and maybe he will remind me "two crows joy."
this is supposed to be where i write about loving things and setting
them free but he isn't a dove and i am not a selfless person.
i am harsh and needy and it is never enough.
blackbirds are supposed to be intelligent but i'm pretty sure
they still fall in love with useless girls who are no good for them.
they clutter my backyard even when i scream
at them to go, that i have nothing left to give them.
the leaves have fallen and the pretty things are beginning to fly south
but he is still here folded into me, a blackbird on a naked bough.
i cling to him fearfully and wonder when instinct
will tell him to fly away. he cannot brave this cold.