Companion of Owls

Against winter skies silver bones
of dead maple, a dozen owls:
the feet of one chopped off bleeds to death.

Dead trees full of starling, owls,
fly lush away; pigeons speed:
liquid-weeping, as pigeons, doves wing.

In my dreams, in the owls of dream,
through the hate and fright of my special
sleep, at the bottom, at the bottom

terror, a white cat turns, turning;
those eyes stare at me;
blue and cold, eyes stare at me

in the knives and
splinter of that gleaming
sleep (the storms and rages burning).

when I am sick, self-hurt,
of earth pain, that white dream
echoes, flying, softly moaning.

In the fog-shining dream,
someone calls; it calls
in a screaming voice
in a high urgent keening.

Who calls me? (and I love her,
love her); but I , lover, lover,
I will not answer.

If I answer that O my god bright
shrilling voice: who calls me
from silver pits of sleep, calls me;

and if I answer

I would (surely) die.

I would die.

Steven Fortney

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