MICHAEL CATHERWOOD

 

"Like Seeks Like"
            —Albertus Magnus, 13th Century

1

The cardinal perched on a branch outside
this window is really blood. Next door
the walls grow after the bald cousin
rolls away the wheelchair;
the mother a candle baptized in wax.

Now, grass is straw,
vines are hands reaching onto the house.
Smoke precedes fire. The '65 Chevy,
metallic blue, purrs from the garage:
"I grew up here."

The flame sugars
and bends the objects around it,
a bright alchemy of light and smoke.

The timer lights go on.

2

Through the Sandhills,
I slid under an orange sunset —
dark owls screeched and coyotes bayed —
the gravel danced like sky
in my headlights.

That night leaving the reservoir,
I drove through late dusk,
both light and evening
like light and evening.

3

The metallic sky
bent in the fenced hills. I braked
in the gravel
and watched the vultures stare
from fence posts; their indifference
patient dark lanterns.
I climbed out, gripped the barbed wire
I could taste the machines
in the air and just thought
about all of us, waiting.