“Pursuit,” “The Endless,” and “The Unswept Sky”

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The hawk’s shadow follows me.

Some smoker’s tar coats my lungs,

all the tiny quivering sacs.

I have felt the talons before,

ripping my scalp, my shoulders,

lifting me from the course

as I stumbled like a Christmas drunk.

Now my muscles shred themselves,

my blood is tainted with failures,

and still I race to escape the title of prey,

that shaming distinction, I leap the

stones and the bramble that would

trip me and make me

a delicacy, I head in the

single narrow direction that unfolds.

No cruelties today.

I am faster than I was.

I want to live more than I did.

The Endless

The gray rain makes cold patterns on your face.

You wade the pooling streets like a stray child.

The water falls to tell you you still exist.

Why it generously performs this service,

you cannot say. You only feel its wild in your alive.

Where will these dark curtains go

when you are gone? What story will the

million teardrops relate in endless beats

if you are absent from this world?

The Unswept Sky

Night. I take it in as I have not in years.

Even here in the suburbs is the world,

humans having encroached on wild territory.

Uncountable stars litter the unswept sky,

and great masculine trees grasp the

horizon with their long fingers of branches.

Standing in my backyard, I feel the thousand

creatures hiding in the hollows of trunks,

in throats of dirt. I listen to the manic songs of

frogs and crickets, I watch as a single hawk

makes its lonely career past my field of vision,

I see a rare fox slinking darkly low.

I behave as if I am not as vulnerable as

the vole and the grasshopper, the fawn

and the muskrat. Men are part of this

dimly lit demimonde, and some track

women like the hawk tracing the skittering

path of its prey. Yet it is worth joining the night.

Inside is vulnerable too. Inside all the time is not alive.

About the Author

Marcia Trahan

Marcia Trahan is the author of Mercy: A Memoir of Medical Trauma and True Crime Obsession (Barrelhouse Books). Her poetry has recently appeared in Two Hawks Quarterly and Cloudbank. Marcia works as a freelance book editor and holds an MFA from Bennington College. To learn more, visit marciatrahan.com.