Raven in April

This morning I was her, regarding red poppies
from the window.  Then I was him, ventriloquizing
the black bird of God.  Her, bewildered; him,
another sanctified animal he ought to have been
and unhappy he was not, as I was being him
or his bird and not her.  Then, because it is spring
and not October, and the bird outside my window
a raven, its black left eye peering in at me
with the enormous and caustic curiosity of its kind,
I was neither her nor him, but my myself,
studying the dark bolts of its talons clamped
on the very broken stob that is the gnomon
of the afternoon’s sundial, when its empty shadow
rises by the minute up the western window.
Black ravages, negative lightning, sleek oily sheen,
and the bottomless eye, wondering what it is
there is, or might be, to say, about what I am.


Robert Wrigley