Today's poem is by Michelle Mitchell-Foust

Abacus of Birds for Eurydice

I hear a saw first,
and then nothing, for a long time,
then the saw again, and all day
I don't know whether to miss it
when it's gone,
or wish it away entirely.

Should I hate the harvest?

Mostly, I've had that dream again,
the one where we are reading
a play, and I'm to read
the fairy part,
but someone else
starts where I should,

and I look up,
as if to say
I am the woman, then?


It was nice of you
to send those pictures,
though I couldn't bring myself
to look at them.
I've had a woman here
tell me what they are.

She says, in one, the sky
is covered. The bee hives
disappear around a tree,
with only a few of the bees

They look quiet,
from almost any distance.

Without you, I replace
the sounds of the bees
in your photograph for birds

swarming, and the birds
for leaves, and your hand
on my hair for the sound
of my waking from a nap.

Hell has a sound like a hive's
moving quiet. It must,
for its hands

are places without end,
and no place
where nothing happens

Inside them,
a hundred lovers sound
like one deceptive one
throwing her voice.


My first night, I slept
outside the humming room.
I had to, because of my confusion,
I kissed the man at the door.

You wouldn't believe
how slowly the light
from where you are
moves out of him.

Copyright © 2005 Michelle Mitchell-Foust All rights reserved
from Imago Mundi
Elixir Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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