Sally Rosen Kindred
Home Sample Poems & Reviews About the Author About the Artist Anabiosis Press More Poems Buy

The Raven's Wife

After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven.
           Genesis 8:6-7

You are the bird that does not come back.
Your wife waits
at the prow's wet edge

for the cold flood of this world to recede,
for the winds' contusions to split and reveal
the milk-breath smell of moss,

and she wonders if you feast now
on the silent sponge of a dead woman's tongue
or splash in the waters God bloodied.

She knows your carrion throat--
how you sing for what soaks the broken ones,
what fills and tears

their sodden rainbow bellies.
She knows how hunger
blunts you, flattens

your splintered hackles
and smooths your wings' rough wit.
She wants you close and preening,

your tail a midnight wedge
in the red cliff walls.
But she has read

the sun's dull tongue and knows
the scavenger moon and bruised sky light
are the last of your black-bell eyes she's going to see.