Today's poem is by Sarah Sousa

The Dead' s Bright Copperas

Could it be held in a bottle like smoke
or liquor; the color of shadow. Could it
be one of the sad animals, one of the instinctual.
Sad because extinct but still
possessing mythical teeth, legs, claws.
Carnivorous and sad. Furred, plumed, spiny
and sad. Could it be hollow as the keeled sternum
of a gull or the pith of the cricket's flat
note. Could it be trapped like a song in the skull's
dull kettle. Sometimes resembling anemic condolence,
sometimes largesse. Primarily unique unless
born again of some woman. Could it be the sun
feasting wolf-like on the dead, its face set in bronze
by the dead's bright copperas. Could it be the sun
festoons the dead with necklaces and bracelets
of fat flies. Fishing for dead. Hunting the dead.
Always engaged in pursuits of the flesh.
Or could it be ghost infants who flop about
like trod-on birds. Without the strength to pass they stay;
eat our corn, settle invisible villages among us.
And wear their broken breastbones
like knocked-askew shields, stirring the flaps
of our doors—like a breeze their ingress and egress.

Copyright © 2015 Sarah Sousa All rights reserved
from Split the Crow
Parlor Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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