by Elissa Ely
On this far-flung black night, broad with blackness –
each star crawls with thick edges
and rigid worms line the gravel
like gravediggers in the rain, wet and respectful.
my throat calls and calls
a message scratchy from too many playings.
we beat on against the needle
and the restraining arm, a roll of old notes
stuck in the deluge until someone
separates them long enough to dry
in the white heat that follows
always and eventually,
like a led dog after the night.
You and I, master and mirror
Crazyman and company
we watch the sky shift with our half-hopes
we rip the linings of one another’s pockets
with fingers that
pull away to touch
blood to blood, edge to scarlet edge
under that pouring star.
I slip and you sing under me, crazyman
your teeth small and perfect
until I pass my hand across them
and leave two rows of burnt Indian corn
rotting, and hanging on the night
like bent nails hang on the door of
a condemned house.