Nailed up on the tree out back
beyond junk mail and shopping bags,
cell phones, talk of wrongs and holidays,
its mouth sings O
to small brown birds depleted now
from months of winter wind and snow, O
Come sink in dead grass and shed fur.
No expectation here of the ready chirp.
In this dark hollow, one work–
Hear echo your heart beating hunger.
Late dusk, the end of the path.
Inside, beckoning the monk,
my lamp and chair and book.
Her paws tap packed snow
behind me, steady supplier
of her food, comfort, shelter–
till a pleasure perfected
to her finer nose and ear
snaps its fingers, scents the air
and she bolts–crashes underbrush,
a panting missile,
desire-fired and single.
My thin calls dissolve
in a musky dark. Scrub pine
and thornbushes conspire
to keep me circling, circling,
reckoning I cannot follow,
body taut for her shadow.
The moon too has left this lot.
Years away each sharp star
grips its heat against the dark.