S T O R I E S

Another Summer

Chicago

P O E M S

The Orchard

Waiting

The Fisher's Tale

Gate 10

Necromancer

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B I O

 

Necromancer


The last light slides keenly
up and down the chrome,
a small sacrificial bell,
its note far and true.
All the details shine, the knobs,
the curved window bars
steady themselves against passionless blue.

The engine coughs deep; your hot
obedient demon waits for you
with me inside. The mirror grins,
the empty road tilts up,
brick walls and plate glass
heavy with night meats,
lean over to keep me from flying away.

Not that I could. Stunned, half dead,
you’ve carried me close to your heart
since the day I fell out of the sky.
You tinker here and there, take me apart,
wave your magic wand, coaxing me to fly.
But the Emperor's nightingale responds
aimlessly, just the way
half a heart contracts galvanically.

Small plums, your returning fingers
make me jump, grip my neck,
a bird-dog’s pressureless teeth,
stirring a reluctant honey under the tongue
and dark sparks in the stomach.
Under your thumb,
the blood quickens of its own accord,
a submissive warmth wells up
through the holes in my heart.
It starts to pump.

On the third day the bird’s head twitches.
Its round eye encircles green and black,
chrome spears and a whole world ball of blue,
the world resting outside the speeding car
like good food on a plate.

 

© Li Gardiner