By: Caitlin Thomson
Attraction by Prophesy
At the corner of the pasture, you — hair in a single braid.
You — who wore clothes when no one else did. You — will know me
by the way I smile, by the bear I kill.
By the way my face is painted. By the body I share with you.
After years, you will no longer question the spirit
of this, the knowledge in me already of your vastness —
when I saw you, I gathered you into the unknown with me.
The story always ends this way, though snakes would say otherwise.
Don’t trust the creature who lives on its belly. Let’s not wake
this one, or startle that one.
Seeing you now — a weight lifting from me — how the birds fly,
how everything that is light — an entryway.
Yes, Each Man Is a Tower of Birds
after llya Kaminsky
Is seven birds a tower, or two hundred?
More importantly, what kind of birds
are they? The difference between a sparrow
and a falcon is the difference between
diner and meal. Are all men the same
type of bird? Robins for example,
or gulls. Or are some men albatrosses,
others puffins, others hummingbirds
stuck in backwards flight? Does a whole
range of birds make up one man’s tower?
The cockatiel, peacocks, and great blue
herons all part of one awkward flock.
And if each man is a tower of birds, what
does that make each woman? A tower of fish?
A hunter? A pet owner? A falconer?
Between the Sleet and Light
Remember our shadows in the shed
against white walls, one gone on
to become a fallen branch,
an offering at the unknown alter.
Really we did this together, made
this empty space between us.
The me that denies this lacks
salt, meat, and mercy.
Perhaps I seem kind and scrupulous
but this is temporary and you are calm.
Our families have gone away
and left us light.
You are treating this as a truce —
me as an answer to the long days
aromatic with fresh cider and rot.
A candle lit and burning for a bargain.
A terrible return for the land, for us —
an earthquake, both.
Caitlin Thomson’s work has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals including: The Adroit Journal, Rust + Moth, Barrow Street Journal, and The Pittsburgh Poetry Review. She lives in Toronto, Ontario. You can learn more about her writing at www.caitlinthomson.com.