A haunting, after The Swan No. 9, 1915.

It is later

when we find the talon


like hunger

pushing into our afternoon

of dirt and disorder.


And we,

being young in superstition,

see the cotton ‘cumulate 

dark and culling

being pulled back

by the talon

and her four sisters

cutting the sky open, orange at first;

              an unearthing of new light, bleeding through

              the darkness curling in, 

              oh, crimson.


We imagine,

a whispering in tongues

our ears wet with fear

a great burden of—

that legacy. Our hexing,

prismatically tearing through

September reds.


Naturally, we ran

past the picketing pines

out of the forest

back behind the windows

of which we pressed our small bodies against, 

not so long ago,

with that collective ache

of youth, we became

bricked in.


We forgot to chuck the talon.

Send help.