This Is For

    “for the sleek witches who burn
    me at midnight
    in effigy
    because I eat at their tables
    and sleep with their ghosts”

           Audre Lorde

This is for the house I lived in with its rafters of stone
for its hundreds of steps leading deep underground
for its murmurs and songs
for the well and bucket and rope
for the bats which troubled my sleep, for the crows
lined up on the telephone wires, eyes yellow as corn
beaks filled with garbage and noise
black feathers empty of meaning against the sky
this is for the girl I dreamt of in the night of storms
this is for her footprints in the mud
her black hair loose and wet, her shoulders almost nothing
but bone
this is for speech, for silence, for the taste of bread and salt
for water cool on the tongue, for throats and tongues
this is for burning when Autumn comes again, for leaves
and smoke, beautiful bodies of ghosts and tables laden with fruit.


Steve Klepetar