Each night the owl cries like an umarried girl
and sometimes over the naked fields
another cries back.
I, a married woman, go out
as if to find them, to tell them a thing or two
Certainly when young you dream,
dream of a companion,
a twin, a shadow.
You want to be possessed, obsessed,
You'd like your heart to be gnawed down to
You would drown in a river like Ophelia.
Not in the day do you tell anyone.
In the day you can stay occupied.
But your heart is a land mine waiting to happen.
Owls, girls, what ninnies
making the whole world a mockery.
It wouldn't be you to see the housewife bustling,
breaking the wood, waiting for the flour to rise.
You are wrapped in your own ego like a god.
I want to tell you not to feed on false belief.
Not to dwell on sex or hunger,
not to roll your head as if to show it off.
Come out where I can see you.
Come out like a bride after her first real fight.
I'm telling you, if you saw the horrors in the day
you would shut your mouths at night.
I can barely walk the pasture
the way their hoofs have cleaved the earth
as if to mar it, —
this is what it is to know silence,
silence and routine
the way the blackbirds rise suddenly
in a long scarf of despair —
the heifers kneel then graze,
graze then kneel, winter’s preponderance
the way stone is made into the mortar
hour upon hour
the slow burning off of frost…
in three months the grasses will diminish,
no longer lush
they will not see it coming
and isn’t youth like that, and beauty,
which nag the mind, and drag the soul
almost to slaughter…