catherine moore

 

HEALING BIRDS

This is how Catherine Moore’s poem “Healing Birds” should have looked when it appeared in our Fall 2008 issue. Many apologies to Catherine for the goof-up.

 

a brave sleep        palliative        flat        slightly sick        day shining

up        the medical sky thick with leaves        worry

beads to usher in the forces that work to see

it goes on        instructed to let a lamp low

this was going to take the place of going to the park

or store        this was a simple palliative

when the separate fury

 

of my hope took over it was possible to repeat that

as a piece of theater        a shout like a mad doll of sand

it makes inside a kind of kind        clear violence

of the bead        only mush extracts from the head clay

hideous retablo on the walls of our hands        the belief in where

money will go                        backwaters of a big fork of water

 

explanations from government make a free hum from the highway

a plea to necessary        the ink an arm when it comes to winding

a place that wasn’t becoming or sitting outside on a lawn

and dressing up for it        the dismissal seems

to some a feeding instinct so as to make attention

toward it

a brave sleep

 

when the fat        far fight is over        when the mercenaries

have come back        we will stretch our hands        up

into the white sky        the door shifted slightly        a light

throbbed in the throat of the train                strawberries are a season

and depend on us        I did it at a photo of redbud

stenographers do it in hoods in court        yellow house

blue

 

house        cottonwood sluff caping the sidewalk        I hunch

in the shade of 4x4s        cool and sweet        we call things cool

and sweet        slimpod shooting star is a desert flower

neon is a color of kayak        I didn’t know how to apply

pray pressure        the prime cut was not laughing

as people or creatures rub off on each other

heartbroke synthetic

 

there’s a line and we’re always over it        but nothing kills you        I don’t

want to think about prom or be chatty        I would like the compulsive pets

to leave me alone                                the shallows that come when rinsing a cut

a child keeps calling        oh delphinium        yeah

her        slapdash grown and repeating        calling

a certain rare cloud like a rubber knuckle

the guy

 

in the tie-dyed shirt told me what Neptune meant

and why his position was either fucking with us or not        I

harbor pessimism about his project                           the tea sips

you said something so sighed through        all of us animals

last night and why a lizard ate me        the lizard

is not a humanitarian

you ask is it as fragile

 

as that?                                I say something so soft        add

greasy bangs all over the sheets        I must have forgotten

the intelligent questions for the ultima thule ski rack

when I got asked out by the mail-order bride        she

said something like a fire eater and then asked to display

her special effects

a sky bandaged with mustard        blue

 

clouds        a tooth measures sound tightly        a generalist

says his prayers as the train whistles and public spaces

drown in something like irises        deodorant-tinged dinner

jacket                    dust and a red ant                        mothers negotiate

with small sore thumbs                  let’s not flinch too much

when the yellow jacket’s wings brush our spines        we all

 

lead our cults across the valley        these are some dials for healing

birds and their ‘when-were-you-born?’s