I'm hoping it's going to rain. The cows have to eat
next winter. The time spent
figuring out connections, a constellation
of shooting stars called incunabula, and dug for in the dirt . . .
But we don't feed the birds, we attract them,
fat as intangibles, to the glass part of our houses.
Their songs cannot contain complaint,
and a red that's more like strawberries than blood
is a theme of my motion picture, whose symbols are shattered,
whose moral is forget the birds above the battle
you've recreated in your consciousness,
and then forget that. The shepherd yields a real crook
and everyone wonders about owning a neck,
while her own is being, and the one that's fit.
But that's not right. No one had to breathe a word,
the black bird, was swallowed after light.
Excerpted from Terrain Vague by Richard Meier. Copyright © 2001, Verse Press. Winner of the first annual Verse Prize, selected by Tomaz Salamun