“They left behind them, to enjoy the corpses,
the dark coated one, the dark horny-beaked raven
and the dusky-coated one,
the eagle white from behind, to partake of carrion,
greedy war-hawk, and that gray animal
the wolf in the forest.” (Anglo Saxon Chronicle, A.D. 937)
Passing epiphanies light when ossein fingers
close a vice, constrict the heart to desperate
half-beats and settle back on exhalation
to flood the mind with silence.
It’s a wonder people care to hear of anything
but ravens and wolves tearing men apart.
To be lucky enough to live forever
because you were devoured is a dead tongue.
We speak a language of evaporating words,
our myths floating up after them, because
you can’t tell stories with words that won’t stay.
Our hands shy from stretching cow skin, and
we don’t have the guts to burn our kin in public
anymore. Steel bites them in the back until
dry eyed strangers desecrate them with unnatural fire. (more…)