Morning unhinged, I discern a squint of moon
still affixed in the cockles of the sky’s heart

& so, linger under the sheets, streaking
like a cat indistinguishable from the light it basks in.

Wallowing, not wallowing. Imagining mystery,
consecrated meal: a meteor shower

of dry brut; pink caviar of a halved
grapefruit; & like a dune on a beach wind rakes,

a powdered dome of sourdough. A jar
of black currant jam. A Sunday paper.

A feast, ultimately, of nothing
but which feeds me. Wanting,

not wanting. The mind’s a nest
of snakes in a henhouse, isn’t it?  

What hatches from it. Wednesday, an Axex
(mythological creature trapped in a pigeon’s perse body)

mistook the sliding panes for another avenue of sun
& I can’t bring myself to pick it up.  Ants have already ex-

posed glimpses of its grey-blue bones,
like urns in a damp garden. Sometimes if I can’t sleep

I run. Tortuous path that returns onto itself.  
Sometimes in the predawn I reach for you &

pat cool sheets, only to find on the feather pillow
not even a strain—I mean strand—of your hair.


Flower Conroy

Valerie RoybalTransmutation 1 (collage)