uglycousin4

 2008

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contents
james autio bio
saved
chute man
letter from lapointe
david disarro bio
autumn in a graveyard
road poems
after the wake
rejections

Saved


James Autio    


 
 

    1.

You could have been a school marm,

or married to a lighthouse keeper, but

you’re like me. You know the occult.

 

The Black Magick’s in deep.

I see it in your measured movements,

your carefully repeated refrains.

 

I feel it flowing from

the corn husk doll you made

with bits of clothes and hair.

 

     2.

A boy

on the town outskirts caught a crow,

and buried the bird in dirt,

the knob of black head

barely above ground.

He stepped back to hurl stones.

 

                         Caw.

 

A fling glanced,

a bit of chipped beak.

And you appeared, rescued the bird,

carried the exhumed body

back to your home in the wood.

 

You warmed the crow by the fire,

filled his belly with steaming juices

simmering in your black pan.

Slowly, new life filled the bird;

you were careful about your work.

 

The boy’s body

you made to fit

in a hollowed out

                         oak.

 

     3.

In the village, girls are hacking

green goo from the lung, trying vainly

to expel the evil wracking their little bodies.

 

The doctor is desperate,

the church leaders are at a loss.

The girls’ father grows tired

of waiting for an end

      to the illness.

 

Accusations fly like witches.

 

     4.

I mirror you on night treks,

    leaves

breathing

         in black trees.

You visit the dancers,

the housewives and merchants

swaying in the soft breeze.

 

Moon slumps heavy on the gallows.

 

     5.

Outside, the village fractures,

false witness, execution in vogue.

 

I’m not dead yet, you’ve seen to that.

I’ll stay until they come for us.

I’ve given my word.

 

In here we’re safe,

door barred, kettle

in the flames, you

hunched over a good book,

and me on my perch: quickeyed,

feathers like tar.

 

 

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