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First burn for them, and dream variously
of whicker, trumpet, whimper, warble;
dream the animals surround you, nervy as needles
at north and south. Then wake to find them
in flight from you, and occupy yourself
with haunt until you have them; ask them
to fly colors in no other war but yours, and when
they will not, harden the lit-out-for hearts
against you, keep them on cusps between still
and still-beating, then make them one too many
shades of red. Do not whiten as you wring,
do not be struck to see their stares go ripe
with surface and below. They were never loyal,
and even now change hands like silver, like hand-
held holes, so after they have no country, and hail
only from you, pile stones in them. Lollingite wants
to fill light heads and coffinite wants the length
of them; staringite lands and shakes in sockets,
petallite flies between ribs to eat water. Finally home
them to you: make wrought-iron doors into them
and no windows. Skimmed-off wings are mortar
for tall walls, tell yourself, and do not be wrought to see
strong builds no longer standing and close-shuttered eyes
under curls of paint. Though all-white birds were worthless
in your war, who says that birds will not be born again,
who says that they will not be teethed
between high and low notes, and lips;
and animals along your axis, who says
the earth will not fill sails with them, will not
circle them on its suddenly undaily way?
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But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
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