A Safe Place

It’s four in the morning and the Blue Andalusian is snuggled on a roost
With the Silver Spangled Hamburg in their house. A Great Horned Owl
Ignores the four who didn’t find their way inside for dark—the Araucanas
And Cuckoo Marans, two of each. The wind had blown the door closed.
They rest on a rib of the sagging run roof, heavy with sleep, unbudgeable,
Brave with the innocence of earthbound, dun-winged things. I am not
Thinking of them in the grey light of my bedroom, I am not praying
For kachinas to throw zucchinis into the knuckles of a nearby cottonwood
At a raccoon who is hungry remembering the way light glinted on the iridescent
Speckled Sussex, such an easy, timid target, friend of the wind-haired woman.
Always squatting to be stroked, her purples and greens were a welcome sign.
The others had squawked and clucked like guns while the woman sat inside,
Listening to the silence around their alarm. In the ruckus the raccoon worked,
Dragging their flapping friend to the nearby fence woven through with weeds
Where she ripped off her head to take back to the tree, a trophy. The rest
Of her awkward body would have to stay on the ground. Upon her return,
Raccoon found it easiest to enter the hen through the vent. Oh, the almost egg!
The shining innards! How kind of the woman to leave the carcass out
A whole day and night to let her finish the feast—sun broiled, braised
In her saliva and the scat of beetles and flies. But I am not thinking
Of any of this tonight while stratus moves in overhead, dropping September
All around us, cool. In this bardo, I rise two times in the wake of my own blood
Threatening stains, barely grateful for walls and predictable dark, the open
Window, a lack of predators, a warm bed, a safe place to make water red.


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