Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"Thaw" by Keith Harvey


I squat on clay, fishing.
Long hair bison graze on the opposite shore,
while red lions roar in the savannah.
Vultures circle on whispered warmth.
She approaches, crow feathers falling from her skin,
her face painted black with soot,
a crow’s skull balanced on her head.
I am hot and these feathers stink, she says.
She sinks into the red water and scraps black feathers
from her skin with a pumice rock.
She emerges pink and clean
and lays on fragrant ferns
beneath the fir trees.
I wade into the river and wash.
Winter is over;
the bushes droop with berries,
their cinnabar juice stains my lips,
their thorns tear my skin,
as bees covered with pollen
yellow the sky
with their hum.

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