Grackle Gifts Come Wild to Hand

for Cassandra Khaw

morning! morning! calls the grackle-girl
making big coin eyes at me
right outside my windowpane
making rappitty-tappitty, gothily-punkily
japily-jestily, heckily-jeckily, doomily-gloomily, crack-crack
CRACK-
-ety noises right outside my windowpane

grackle-girl, she flexes up
she up and pecks a glint-sharp drupe
round from out my casement glass
hops my sill, the brazen lass, and pops
her sleeky head right through
that round-sawn hole she’s made
peeks razorly, says cheekily:
howdee, lady!
here’s your delivery

then! hoiks she
from out her prying beak, my grackle-girl
hoiks she a gorgon’s knot:
ribbons all a-ravel, streamers loose, limp like worms
each as black as bunker fuel
each as blue as flame
each that same sky-wet, snake-slick, onyx-licks-a-larimar hue
as her own jaunty neck, which she
withdraws
from the vitreous guillotine
her boisterousness hath made

grackle gifts come wild to hand:
wet ribbon, glass drupe, jet wing, bronze ring
how they twist and twine, wend, wind
divine themselves into some true new thing:
some tiny monstrous hope
(pale, night-blooming orchid–
but tiger-striped, with teeth)
that feeds only on the finest ink, on midnight confessions
dark lace, strange tastes, unexpressed tensions
broken shell, shattered blade, polished stone
and the brightest brass button
in a box carved all
of bone


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