I can remember the flint that precedes me
and how the inlets wrapped their knots
inside me, but Father—I never bleed over these
fevers and wings we have no names for.
Spade, stone, and marrow pattern the fields
you walk through, reeds stalk
the river, and you can’t close your faulting
eyes—tonight the bridges release all
the suspension crouched in their knuckles;
binges hide under windows, and you
forward your limbs to the farthest phantoms:
like a kindle of twigs, you buried your palms
in the dust—you removed a splinter and stars
melted down your arms—but you can’t deliver us.
You’re trapped in this orbit and now the circuits are dying
inside of you. In spite of you I’ll buy your red suit
plus another red suit: one for burning during
your funeral and the other to cover my mirror with.
Upon reading "My Night as a Splinter and a Mirror," this etching immediately came to mind. Derek’s poem creates a vivid world with reeds that stalk, limbs moving to the “farthest phantoms,” and stars in orbit. Nightshadow depicts a figure standing in such a field as this, casting a beastly shadow into the night sky, revealing an animal trapped within.