Ravening

Boxcars trundle by
all dusty afternoon.

You perch a fence
of deadwood, wire,

knots, and barbs—
this gnarled outpost

where a distant line
of smoke fades off

the mind’s bare edge.
You’re nothing here

except that shadow
you’ve tried to leave.

Circle over every grain,
each wound. Now, go:

the hammers fall
on twisted strings

inside a grand piano
inside the dark inside

your own dark throat.
And that’s your voice.

And that’s your voice
alone. Alone, offhand,

its strung-out, scratchy
note catches—remains

after the thing you
cark about is gone.

Noon’s eroded each
shoulder, each track

-less rune, slurring
into hallucinations.

A crackpot boulder
burns away in glare.

Keep on turning; wheel
above a shrinking mark,

blue crow, and think and
think until you don’t exist.
 
 
 


Will Cordeiro has work appearing or forthcoming in Best New Poets, Copper Nickel, DIAGRAM, Fourteen Hills, Nashville Review, Poetry Northwest, The Threepenny Review, Zone 3, and elsewhere. He lives in Flagstaff and teaches in the Honors College at Northern Arizona University.