from The voice is the last we forget to remember

Every feather of the small gray bird is laid in a circle on the ground.
No sign of sinew, blood, or bone.

Moose scat. Scuffed pine needles.
A new sense of danger in the woods.

The morphing dead, the one who flutes my bones:
All I carry rushes to the portal.

Say the woods floor concentrates with gravities of feathers,
say it gives with falling hooves —

The air alerts with touch.
A fingertip, an Oh, is all it takes

The three of them three trees among the trees,
the light pale white, defaulted.

If I thought that this was easy, to wrap her arm around
a tree and tilt her head against it,

to dress in her skirt and sweater, and they their three-piece suits,
to be lithe and beautiful and young

and stroll for pleasure in the park, urbane
and nonchalant, and lean against

three tree trunks in the midst of trees,
the air already faltering,

the wind’s petition,
when behind the camera the other brother had his face turned to the forest —

I had not heard the ones
who whisper yet

A child is running through the trees
Someone will give their life for him

Run, child, run
Someone is running after

In the circle the wind makes, a high harmonic,
a noose in the trees, a loon’s close quaver,

shape note over the trench the doughboy dug to lie in
listening for the upwail, waiting for urine-colored eyes.

Outside the cockpit, flak so thick he could walk on it,
arrows whistling, striking a spear friend,

the wound a laminate, each layer edged in carmine,
above the clouds above the woodlands and mountains,

above the aftermath in               ,

the censor’s razor gutting dates and destinations,
the letters baring windows to the far side

housing the jewels of the cosmos,
ack-ack and stars

Fur tears from feather.
Impaled, impaling, the night wound shreds the satin throat.

She comes, finally, torso strung on the hanger of the scapula,
loose-hipped, sprung from the filtration camp,

mouth cross-hatched with vowels.
Proud flesh rides an influx of tenderness,

subducting the living and the dead.
If she offers love to their forgeries

she cannot help herself —
her eyes — owl’s — touch everything, all nothing —

she enters you like rain-struck fruit
enters the moss-lined soil

I summon their voices at will.
They come calling.

There is no unimprinting,
no not answering their call.

Then am I made of sound?
I think I was sound before I was flesh and skin,

I think I was bliss there,
as a sound-dolphin, with

sound-striata combing me, when I swam
the sound composing the sound —

and they are become a skin made of voices,
the sound that is playing me playing their sound.

If I can respond …

in saprophite flowers cast the sound forward
through absence of sound

their faces are shaping,
their beautiful faces

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