Lisa Fay Coutley is Associate Poetry Editor for Passages North. She teaches writing at Northern Michigan University, where she is an MFA fellow. Her poetry has appeared in Clackamas Literary Review, Pedestal, Terminus, and elsewhere.
As the story goes, the raven’s wings
aren’t black. They’re waves, capping
dark omens. Crows with curtained throats.
Who knows what falls from the shelf
inside us. Even gods skin their knees
to bleed. The man at the end of the aisle
is pocketing two-for-one toothbrushes.
The cashier is hand-perking her breasts
and picking her teeth with a receipt.
I’m sorry you won’t see your son, his skin
peeling its white scarf through blizzards.
I haven’t sanded the road, won’t
strut across town in my ballet slippers.
Your shape in this bed is my shape.
Erase my whole notes from your page.
Two stoplights ago, the wind
off a pickup pulled us further from home.
When I said the moonlight made graves
to square off the night, I meant to say
pull over. Listen: my heart’s a gutter
of ravens tugging at the firmament.