The angel reconsiders
The flame over its head twists and flickers.
A cowlick of wonder. Through the sinew
of transparent wings flows the blood of creation.
It lifts and sets down, interlocks fates, initiates
patterns we feel in our hearts when things die
and when things are born. It has been feeding.
It looks to the lower middle left, that place we look
when we are thinking about the truth.
It would be a good year to start from scratch,
the angel thinks. Its round face,
blue like a baby’s eye, blinks. Nothingness
begins to melt into a terrible form
of a hand and dark thoughts. Then
the angel reconsiders. Its wings spread
high, high, higher, into a sacred shrug.
The hand is left alone, reaching for its maker.
The plague spring
Spring blooms with empty streets.
Chain-links sprout and spread overnight
and flower with heavy locks on
the fences around basketball courts.
A few people drift by the closed library
like pollen, moved by invisible laws.
The sun buckles and stalls.
It’s the spring of closed doors.
We wait for something unexpected
that would signal the expected’s return.
Down the street a car sneezes and drives
off like it’s allergic to us.The pileated
woodpecker swoops in long arcs
from leafless tree to leafless tree
like he is sewing up a wound. When
his red crest twitches as he tightens
the thread, will there be pain?
There’s a sound everywhere this sunny day,
a faucet in the world being turned off. We huddle
in the quiet, afraid of being alone.
The quiet of the afraid is worse than the quiet
of the dead, who are not around to hear it.