For Louise Cowan
Worth warbling, chortles Raven, microdeath,
The ancient warning, the ever-echoing tomb,
Exactly reckoning his longshadowed room
And the breathless count of disappearing breath.
So what, cut-rate crow, blown-up blackbird,
We wise skeletons do know what you did
And where all the once-burning eyeballs are hid
And gasping poets uttered one last word.
Ha! I hear your rattling wings’ horrid flap
And know tonight as flaming meteorites
Hail and defy all the heavenly lights
You’ll squawk out the execution of this trap.
But I cannot quake before your birdlike smile
For death’s life’s sunrise explodes in a while.