Representations of Home Creative Journal

ROAM - Winter/Spring 2022 - ROAM 2

Crow Plague Doctor

Crystal Hurdle

all in black, Doctor, I step into your rooms
you fall six feet back,  your counterfeit or genuine NP5 mask
a beak warning against lesser masks of prophets false, fallen

you crow-talon extract my latest ultrasounds to read
stand behind me, your finger-claws gentling my neck
your beak smells of wormwood, tannis root, toe of frog
prods, insistent to give my malady a name:
swollen lymph node, thyroid nodule or bubo
wider than it is tall, into what might it grow?

what are you sniffing in or out? Your breathing is laboured
as you, officiant, separate the sheep from the goats in our two-person murder
of crows:  I feel you rearing up behind me, cunning corvid, indignant, plaintive in your coos
feathers unkempt on outspread wings, throat constricting,
through the medicinal herbs, your breath’s pestilential peck 
that desperate needy kiss still unwanted on my neck

you caw and caw an unintelligible language, it hurts my throbbing ears,
you now wear the cloak of a bird of prey
hawk or falcon? evidence or prediction? getting or giving?
I no longer care to know if I was one  of the sick or the well
unnamed is better

lavender-lulled, I clutch at ambergris,  caveat emptor
your roost so comfortable, your sickness a weighted blanket, mine,
I am ready  

to                                     fall 






Crystal Hurdle

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