Today's poem is by Andrew Osborn


after Magritte's "Le Théapeute"

The aviary’s cold tonight I feel
a draft haunting my ribcage despite
this cape pulled over, no head-hole.

It is as if I inwardly were yawning:
one among my rare menagerie
still arranging feathers for the dawn.

I feel like sleeping until things warm.
Adrift like sleep itself, this want
to be haunted, winter’s guest—but soft.

Who like a serrated knife edge scrapes
the vaulted space my shoulders should be.
I flinch so slowly I think I better

keep stirring. This means, no doubt, less rest.
I cannot doff this sadness.
It is a too tight, too heavy hood.

The aviary’s dark as night I see
so little: where have my boat-tails gone.
And the yellow bead I gave each one

to eye me with has lost its shine
or come unstuck or shut its lid.
The aviary’s shut up tight I feel

like childhood wearing its snowsuit—yarn
drawn through the down-puffed arms.
How can one know one has, say, a pigeon

until a wind picks up or it,
the pigeon, of its own volition stirs.
I cannot doff this sadness, oh this

sodden what I think this means
less thinking: all of the daylong-darting
bobolinks’ heads tucked in, the pinioned

vectors, hooded and jessed desires,
all the failed philosophies, all of these
"loves of" sloughed off.

Copyright © 2005 Andrew Osborn All rights reserved
from Bat City Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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