Relic I you are countless birds leering over countless winds; in my sleep your neck a range of heads in tireless rank and beak in pirouette the sky offers nothing vision in ink night this stream’s connection to a bay older than a strait distilling— something important I’d forgotten about replication so send the birds off a two by two frame rising pulled into sleep better by the lapping even when the sea is black, and fallen
Relic II have not wondered when piercing is not an option in reeds like battlement hey bird it’s this—a thing windward looks excitement but confinement in openness is what’s itinerant so pressed myself waveside like all the whiteness would capture it in the crest of the bay the clouds kissing in the balance of the bay a sea floor of dead krill you laid markings a wave toward sediment the dream of flight for a marsh village
From the Author: The couplets grew out of a card deck I bought years ago in Brooklyn. The grief, the violence, the strange grace struck me and set the tone and form of the poems. I revised the poems last year, which seemed right during the depths of pandemic living.
Catherine Cafferty is a New Yorker living in Denver, CO. She works in education and has written some poems.