American Culture · American Literature · Aubade · Contemporary · Online Magazine · Online Review · Poetry

Charlotte Boulay

Aubade with Pericardium and Visitor

What a wreck the sky is this morning, slashed
through the middle
and all bloody at the seams.

When the new moon falls
on the first of the month
it seems unlucky, such absorbing

darkness it’s hard to get out of bed.
I open my mouth to test a thought
by voicing it without a boundary of truth,

and the heart in its watery
pillowslip clenches to cushion
itself from harm. Early I slipped outside

and there was a fish on a line
beside the coppery lake
and a snake waited,

his black body thick as a wrist.
It was such an easy meal he swallowed
it whole, jaw hinged open wide while

his body molded around it;
I mean the fins
bulged in his throat as it slid down.

Songs ought to be sung,
and when possible,
stories ought to be told

as they happened,
not from the shortest distance, not
unattached, not asleep.

Today I rose in the wreck
but I didn’t know what to keep,

the memory or what it left behind:
you, small chair; you, empty belly;

you, knock on the dark door.

Charlotte Boulay, Michigan Quarterly Review, Volume XLVI, Issue 3, Summer 2007

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