The night you don’t come home,
the crows in our elm jilt
their brood. I hear their young
shriek until their tongues must be calloused.
I dream I climb the tree, rub my hands
raw, never reach their nest.
In the morning, they are quiet. I find a chick
crushed—an ashen heap, its mouth
a wound. The cat musses it, liking the way
its neck moves. I would need to see its entrails,
see the way its wings tried to lighten its body,
to understand your leaving. The omen is in its
sinking. Your sisters can point at the divine
pattern of freckles on my thigh,
the tattoo of your ship’s hull behind my ear.
They know I desire the edgeless
darkness, of being the one that leaps
to find the one that left.
-From Issue 78 of CutBank