The vultures of this landscape came to call
this morning—found a bare-limbed tree outside
my kitchen window, settled in & held
my gaze, big tar blobs against a milky sky:
We understand you, their presence informed me,
& I you, I told them in silence.
this day can't make up its mind—sun's half out
but rain's in those clouds. If it's that cold wind-
driven stuff that swats your eyes like a drink
full of crushed ice thrown in your face, I'll stay
indoors, count my failures & petty crimes,
loathe my life, & completely understand
why friends and loved ones keep their distance.
The barometer yo-yos my mental state—
one day I'm a happy old dude, kitchen
dancer, car-driving harmonizer, hilltop
walker delighted by the world.
it's the big not, the mega-never. & where
are you breeze-blown death birds now that I need you?
This mean rain's rotting the starch right out of me.
Come down from your perch, my beauties, I'm
opening doors & windows, I'm looking for snacks
in the back of the fridge. Here—try roosting
on this chair back. Please just sit with me
around my table. I'll hold up both ends
of our conversation. It's like forever
I've wanted to talk to you. Here—let me
turn off these lights—I know you like the dark.
Blacksnake at the Family Reunion
Louisiana State University Press