Patrick T. Reardon
She Grabbed the Pigeon
The flesh boy, bare to the skin-slash
through layers, blood overflows the line
of its banks, alive—let it run; taste the
liquid metal; taste the line of the edge—
nailed, a skin to the wall; tacked, a house
fly to the paper: The house fly has no shout.
Herod’s dancer is as much his
victim as the Baptizer.
Understand there is no understanding.
The flesh boy sees Post-It notes on
every wall, telling him his empty-
ness, telling him what he feels isn’t.
Look: The creche. She and he
hold the baby still, an embrace-lock.
He is, she tells him, mad at the world.
She chisels the stone of him and scrapes and knocks
away what she disdains, an artist with her mallet,
working against the grain for greater tension, and locks
the work in a lightless room.
Let us now praise her.
That is what she wants.
In the cage, the animal paces.
She grabbed the pigeon
and scissored off
Flight to death
Blood and Flesh
You tell me to crawl
into the ragged slash
in your side and pull
the raw edges of flesh
together to enclose me
in the gory warmth of
your heartbeat, like
a babe at the breast,
like a love flesh to
flesh on damp sheets,
like reentering the womb,
like surrendering to the
formless white at the heart
of water, air, ore, sky,
plant, sun, star, cloud,
moon, blood and flesh.