Call of the Crow

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He turns her over
in the middle of the
night and she makes
for pleasant pageantry.

Sleep makes for sudden
silence and he dominates
the quiet with harsh
breathing, oxygen fleeting
how that she has a nose
and mouth with which
to breathe. He keeps her
with hands, on her face,
forcing wordlessness. And
she waits for sound to
compel anything but
condemnation.

He tells her he loves her
but he's kept her locked in
the cage in which she sleeps.
And he leads her to believe
that he is a prisoner too.

But he's loved more, and
better, turning her faith on
lies, stroking her hair and
hating her heart for making
room outside the cage. He
tells her to love more, need
less, hate none. He's lived
outside the cage for some
time, loved for living free,
slept on nicer floors.

He makes her queen
of his hearth, but gives
her nothing with which
to rule. She toils, lavishly,
for his invention, straightening
his ties, making speeches,
trying not to hunger for
what he doesn't provide,
trying not to want, to kiss,
to feel, to move.
She gets tangled
in the drapes, making for
lovely furniture. He mistakes
her for the couch and sits.

And he puts her on a
pedestal, just to
knock her down. And he
says wanton words and she
listens, if just because that's
all her ears have been allowed to
do. And he slips her singles,
kisses, drinks with which to
quiet her. Just to keep her
docile. And she barks,
tries to, but he doesn't like his
dogs vocal either.

And she waits, prays, stays,
makes bonfires, puts them
out for fear of getting too close,
falls back on his sheets,
makes them again for now
they've creases.
And he yells anyway.

And he gives her everything
but his heart, leaves that for
himself. But he takes hers,
if just to own it. And she barks,
but it doesn't matter much now.
She was beautiful once but
he's gone and made her
the worst of better women.

And she had loved better men
but they had not money or class
or homes. They had taken time, care,
and their ears were made for listening
too.

All he hears is his own static.
And what was once her lovely
singing voice is now the call
of a crow. He's broken her wings,
just so that he can cage her
when she falls.





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