Think tarot card (seven of swords
predicting the future perfect) or drowsy long-throated birds
(swans or loons or flamingos) dropped from the sky
into a poppy field because that is
what the mind engrossed in dream craves.

The blinding simultaneous suns I take
upon my tongue, word & body. Wholly
swallow.  What is at stake? I am the reduction
of when they tuck away their stem, their snakelike necks.  
How they seem tufts stuck to a gash,

dusk-bludgeoned clouds, the opposite
of bloodsmatter on newly welt
snow.  Seed, pulse, measure.  The beating, after-
wards (meaning, its silence). Salt & rose-
mary rubbed, the heart spit-

through, roasts over a firepit camouflaged within
the gauzy woods where I craft you. Hunter.  
Woodsman. Quick lick of claret, fingertip to lip.  
Sunshine & asylum, citronella & rotting adz split wood.  
And if I cannot wake? Erasure.


Flower Conroy

Valerie RoybalLittle Grief Machine (collage)