Portent: Telling Tolls

By Stephanie Wintermute All Rights Reserved ©

Poetry

A Copper Pulse to the Dead, Soft Brass

At one time, I was afraid to create birds.

The bones porous, light. Lackadaisical proportions mistaken for symmetry in mid-flight. Spine to be crafted became a spindle-bear lining like catgut lurching out upon a harp’s lattice.

The leaden kiss of paper weight in every whisper thin imagining of motion, cog’s glistening, lemon yellow beak, rust ridden backbone, molten to the core.

Exposure.

Exposure, gossamer grin as plasma coats the cerebral cortex. Bright, warm, luxe. A copper mug filled to the brim. Muddled, burnt cherry to lit brandy. Brand me upon a moment. Make a lasting impression.

Saddle the snowfall with arms a-waving, legs still. Are we yet an angel without the garish robe, the flailing spectacle we represent while flat upon our backs in a zeal filled quandary with gravity, an animated imprint in the making.

Open is the cage that is rusted to allow the small partially created nightingale to escape. But she spins, only half finished.

It is the guilt I bear. The small lens of her eye swirls open and closed while she looks up at me, still questioning perhaps.

Why did I let her perch with the door closed for so long? Why would I leave the heart exposed? The luminous lung only partially completed so that song was never an option?

I see the harp of her rib cage quite similar to the prison she called Stockholm away from home. How is a raven like a writing desk?

How is a nightingale like a pocket watch? Oh. Would you look at the times. They are a-changing.

In the inverted image, the reflection reversed, in the lens of the batted eye, wings are the lashes, yet. They beat the living life out of my skies.

The Milky Ways of human kindness. Blackness lessens the blazing Universal blues.

I may never relent or tell you any differently while safe in the folds of the clouds, the billowing sails that easily steady that sticky sweet sorrow I find coating my fingertips if I reach too far inward.

I wind the still nightingale back up and place her back in her cage. She clutches with a metallic scrape, the small, uncharacteristically copper mold of the soul.

Perhaps tomorrow, I will fashion her lungs to allow for sound. Regardless, I should decide. Leaving a mechanical bird to its own devices, rib cage open like the cage door confuses all who see.

They must stare, agog. Then the onlookers usually tilt their heads in wonder, bird-like in their own right.

Still nightingale remains undecided. As her heart ticks away for all to observe. But we must not draw too much attention. Vacant face of a clock we do not possess any longer, however.

We’re all mad here.

Stark raven mad.

Still...

Nightingale remains undecided.

This gives me hope for the future and my own immortal, immoral soul in deep stirring pangs.

Gives hope that such a dual-sided coin may yet exist in the great aftermath that brings about the doppelgänger I see sometimes across the way.

His bird is not like mine. She is free. I want so badly, so very badly to be the he that is me. At the beginning and the end of that day when it occurs.

Then I may know at length why she stayed. And how could she? When I am the way that I am now. Trying to simply divine.

How she ticks?

Oh, the trickery I display is caught within the spindly branches of my arteries as they ferry blood to my anxious extremities, the cavernous cavity where my heart should reside.

Was it soaked up into a dip pen with a finer plume than I deserve?

Prominence of the sun its opposite in the blackest space imaginable. Copper goggles scratched, lenses painted to hide the vision. The metal becomes more pliable as you handle it properly.

Dead soft brass, look alive.

Or can you even? A copper pulse becomes your pedal point.

You see.

It bears a certain cross, wearing it well somehow as it drags in a creak along the perforated planks. They break one after the other, in time.

And just in time, we all fall. Down to the last flush of summer upon our cheek before the ash, the poplar, the oak, the maple. For the bones of the tree are found in the apple of the eye teeth.

Bite down until the mold sets in.


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