Ravens

1
Look

2
He was already
Driving home from
Taos every few miles a bird
black and black over plunged
the highway ahead  Each time she asked
him its name  That is a raven

3
You always say
that she said1

4
A week later hands
under hands under
a table she listens neck bent In the grand canyon
I saw two checking out
the landscape riding a thermal
playing People assume human beings

5
are the only creatures capable of aesthetic
appreciation The male and female2 I think
have the capability of caring for one
another mate for life

6
So many sugar pouches under the leg of our vague wanting to be ravens

7
In sleep he has never flown but fallen fallen fallen

8
from buildings into sand3
Now she on the other
hand remembers in her stomach how
to lift and dive without

9
fear Feathers mark pages in her
books prick her thighs through
thin pockets when she crouches
She stuffs them

10
ruffled into bottles shakes them out to check for black
_____________________________________
1.  So start asking about the other
birds
2.  fly touching wings
3.  It doesn’t hurt

1997, winner of the 13 Ways Poetry Contest of the Nieve Roja Review

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