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In Owl Weather


In the pamphlet, on page three, you will find me

Clutching the yellow parasol, the one I used
To get away with carrying. I loved once, in

The long-ago, nesting in the empty granary
With my barn boys, all of whom then wanted

Me. How many nights it was I did not wed
Them, preferring the company of animals

Who did not speak and slept curled to me and set
Me free thereafter to the feral dark, and then

         To overwintering. In owl weather I am

Apprentice to the common law of harm.
No rook, no reed, no rain, only

Overhearing in the next room
The Surrealist's boot growing into

         The foot-soldier's missing hank

Of limb on the terrible concrete in the city
Of Tehran. This is the hour when no living

Creature can lean its forehead into my hand.
The owl in the barn is so still

No one takes my word that he is real.
In the pamphlet, on page seven, you will find me

As a tiny odalisque on the endless blanket

Of the bower of my mother's bed, coquettish,
In a poplin nightgown and my mallow-color shoes,

With all my lionlikes about me—it is clear I am
Quite pleased with me. I wonder, can he

         Look up to the slip of moon late days

At the very moment I am looking too,
I wonder, is he warm, somewhere, in hay.


Lucie Brock-Broido

Stay, Illusion
Alfred A. Knopf


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