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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Ville d’Avray, by  Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, 1867, oil on canvas.
Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art. 



Doorway, 2am

 

There, on the hill: a stone’s silhouette

and probably a stone, we can

guess.

 

We can always guess.

There on the hill hidden

in its silhouette

 

A stone,

two tall sides set

like shoulders

 

In a dark doorway. No face.

Two sides, two shoulders,

the black door

 

And the face turned away.

We can only guess.

The stone, the face, the silhouette.

 

             -Christopher Crawford


 

   

How the Female Does It

Ah, he thinks, she’s one of those

women who can’t remember 
one good thing about a relationship
after it’s done. That must be a comfy chair
to sit in. How much better on the bones
than the camp-bed of half-
truths in which he spends his days 
or the cold floor of good times
on which he sleeps.


             -Christopher Crawford


Nightwalk Without Her   

 

After James Wright

 

There are two horses

dancing in a field

by the remains of a river.

They don’t care about anything anymore

except for one another.

One field over, by the woods,

a kestrel always watches the wheatgrass

for movement. The woods do nothing

but rush and turn

as if the breath of a giant waterfall

hides between its branches.

The air is clean and hard.

 

The half-marsh here

soaks my feet

by the gamekeeper’s bothy.

I listen by his door:

no light, no sound

but the river, which is both.

A trout rises and drops

with a slap in the corner pool.

 

This time I’ll have to accept it.

She’s never coming back.

 

         -Christopher Crawford 

 

  

Finish You Off

 

Let me do it:

Help you once again

To turn yourself into something else:

Your body gathers its threads

And drops through the World

Like a white dust

Falling from a shelf

through a wedding veil.

What remains is you inarticulate,

You higher,

In orbit

Over where your body lay.

A sound meaning you not yet conceived
Descends the dark room as a heavy scent.

 

                     -Christopher Crawford



  

Live in a Street but not with a Street Sweeper

 

You don‘t want the poet.

You don‘t want clothes

in piles on the floor or the kitchen looking like that.

Nor the timekeeping: always having to jam a beermat

under the table leg

of your life.

 

And you could have just chosen poetry.

   

Instead, the shifting noises, bangs and

tapping late at night, the smoke headaches,

the brown stains in your best china cups

into which you stare, frowning

 

as if to look deep enough

 

would be enough.


                           -Christopher Crawford