American Crow · Hunt House Trailhead

Be It Dawn or Dusk

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by Jason Harris

Like a songbird I sing to you the notes of Gladys Knight & the
                                 Pips.

In the murder
of my arms I hold you because I want you

to sleep
because I want your eyelids to drape

over the brown matter
of your pupils because I want, I desperately want, to walk out

of this room
& say yes, he’s down yes, he’s down

but your long legs & thick neck & strong arms
thrush

against the shore of me but not like a wave
would but like a bird would wrestling its prey into its mouth

on the soft grounds
of Lake Erie.

Everyday I trick myself into believing the pain
in my back isn’t real. Every day I stand

in the middle of your bedroom
like an American Crow atop an anthill

waiting for the ants
of sleep to ascend, to burrow

into your featherlike skin
& ward off restlessness.

The pediatrician warned us about this

           – the infant’s inability to self-soothe, to self-stimulate.

Putting you to sleep is a dance
somedays

& on others it is a battle & this battle is an anthill

I am willing to die on
           – be it dawn or dusk

my favorite part of the day:
when your eyelids shutter & leave

only the crescent moon of your sclera showing.

 

 

 

 

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