Rabbit Year, Penelope

by Laura Behr

The first notes, sung upside down,
in a warbler’s song.  Eyes closed.
Moonlight stripped, throat full
of love.  Relief bracing, breast bare.
Who knows what is real ?  To break
the day like bone, it takes years to see
something else.  All the good shoulds
have fallen.  It can’t be different.
Near Deer Run Creek, we collected
chicken hearts.  Tiny, blood – streaked
rocks, from the mouth of the streambed,
as the last drop of truth, swallowed,
emptied into the lake.  There is no way
to know how the night shifts.  Cold wind
lakeside, leaning in, erasing every trace.
The hare disappears, into salt grass,
whispering to the earth in darkness.
Thorns, and the pulse of a broken world,
empty as winter woods.  High above
the thistle bush, a pale moon hides
and hums of all that is to come,
separate and uncertain, as lightheaded
stars’ windfall.  Everything I need
knows, five years ago, I woke
to an empty house.  The cycle of days,
and the same world asked me for nothing.