Number Two


by V.P. Crowe


Fallen, not from eyes,
but from body slumped and whipscarred,
they lie in drifts, faded silver gleam
scattered through charred feathers and debris.
Barest glint reflected now, in heavy, slitted eye,
of proud tilt and sweeping tail arched in shining flight,
of breath that painted fading, western skies
now come to this, reduced
to stalking pigeons beneath the bridge.
So much more, so much less
than Dream
- in which we spoke, and did not speak,
touched and did not, knew and did not know,
breathed searing, vivid canvas, thrashed
and tumbled, laughed and wept,
and yes, we flew -

Because I still remember,
because I know how quickly Fear forgets
that we are Beast,
that we are Child,
that we are Wind,
I wait silently in shadow, confiscate
the precious bits of white the wind reveals.
Yes, I fear the darting, furtive eye,
the blistering tongue, the flailing, battered wing.
But you cannot rule a castle built of bone
any more than you can fly on pigeons' wings.
Someday, this will seem no more,
no less than dream.

So for the moment we again take flight
to mountaintop and valley cleared of mist
by silent wingsweep, scorching, healing breath;
for the time to scatter bits of bone
by twisted stream and path
to take the shape that they once knew;
for this, I keep them sheltered,
cool and salt and damp until I lie
enfolded in sweet dragon's breath again;
for this, I leave the scales where they have fallen,
dim reminders of so much more
and so much less
than Dream.

Copyright ã 1998 by V.P. Crowe


I dreamed last night: of silken strands
of Guinness, madness, old friends,
and a Lou Reed song I couldn't quite pin down.
Dipped in pheromones and blood,
woven into pictures, they seemed
gossamer, until I went to touch.
Then, reaching out,
they bound my hands, my lips,
and pierced my eyes.

Struggling against silken steel,
unable to cry out, I felt
the threads wind ever-tighter,
slipping down to caress, whispering
wonder into loneliness and fear;
caressing, binding, silk, then steel
on hip, on thigh, in tangled hair 'til
finally, my struggles ceased

and I opened wounded eyes to find
neither steel nor silk - only bands
of light, ever-shifting, weaving
new designs, in colors only seen
with wounded eyes.

Copyright ©1998 by V.P. Crowe


V. P. Crowe is a member of the Dallas Poets Community.  Her work has most recently appeared in the anthology As The Moon Climbs, available from Kokopelli Press of Dallas.

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