Megan Burns

Sound: A Refuge

 wiregrass for waders, deep sided and the nursery trills
afterthoughts for the dead zone of Chandeleur sound
ghosted sight of the Great White Egret simmering above waters
layered in green where it plunges feet first and stands
arched wings opened here in the cypress
brackish as bombed cities, if brackish and part sea ward
if blackened sounds exist, if soaring and endangered
in silent tables, yellowlegs, long-legged dowitches
western sand pipers, black necked stilts
shore up the Delta, cypress trees tearing in the limbs with Spanish moss
root thigh high or knobby knees cap boggy detritus
crenellated petals at sunset, caught reptile’s rough touch
skin sunned against bark, yellow toothed grin paddling
against hours, nearly dead and quaking,
nearby the dead and their trembling, tremulous dead silence
tenacious marsh vanishing
creamed petals of the Grandeiflora cupping its yellow hair
extinct lists: speckled trout, flounder, bass, blue crabs
shrimp, catfish, sunfish vanishing
hummingbird, common as ingrained jade light
black bear honeyed up nudges past long tail skipper
purple iris shading hollows, vanishes
and the body on high alert, sediment deposits
oxygen and houses, boats and the season dried up
cooked over, raw as seeds, fish eggs, scents unpleasant
and near, wide open, these secrets, these water ways
en route: brown pelican, raccoon, pear tree in white bloom
the turning over of calendars, windows & gifts,
night handling its cloak, names and their mystery
land and roots, air washed into where
connected gently in absence and turtled in lakes: Mandalay,
Big Branch and Breton near mudflats: kestrels, hawks, ospreys
bald eagles nesting, backslopes coastal hardwoods worn smooth
cloud formations vanishing
rain ready even now, the river’s mouth bleeds
a burst artery, a ventricle smashed, invertebrates
the track of synapses off course, aerial view
from space: mapped out like any body
dying our waters, seas  and tributaries
breath of stone membranes shored up with clay
stints to still over spires over intervals
nest building whispers dizzy eternity
when no one came vanishing a vast light

tarry in the coalesce:  summer

long arm of shade & the sharp chirp
whir on this freighted rapture
so I would travel days
turn over hours pitted in fruitlings
think beyond doubt

dangled cord that wraps round the doubled ovum
to the neck clung then it purples
never popped or bruising
seedling gone too deep
brown ends from the cut stalk
a fruit divides its skin
or has no fortress against penetration

streeted in the separate block
a corner that rails & where once
water made boats of us
if I could sustain feeling
grown up enough

how a bird settles on bamboo
what they dig or sense writhing under soil
what I did was believe in chain link fences
don’t you think I
should be more doubtful

pine tree cornered
the rough rules we shaved down
for smooth sliding, scales we discarded in private moments
slip knife just under the tongue
a second of danger, so weird & wooly
how he did nose me wet snouted, panting

for my tremble goes uncounted
when they fly: they all fly

 treat me different
treat me with fingered cold indifference
I would bully you
if I could flock in dozens or half dozens
where the trunk snapped
now there’s two of us

hawk distanced, I lick the charcoal plates
in the slumber pits
so lucky, the dead
remind us to be better
I play the half deck, invent chords

I was alert when the hit took
soldiered ankle deep in boy toys
enough legos to build a fairy tale
for now I was barely contagious
I was at least four things or twenty answered questions
never sincere, never suspect
a reason just before every movement

I folded down, kept place & digested
everyone came for the mildness
lost in a bird state, rash my inseams
on the tomato branch’s prickly rub
the veiny knots where I hold my blood in
how faux woody, not a squirrel but no silence
black market where I tie those arms off
carefully masted, open up the paltry feathers
you can count the holes, see where all the glue spilled
how my waxiness wanes then runs clean & clear

Bellmer’s Anatomy of the Image

displayed architecture and void of organ & silken smooth—object under scope in sanctity—robbed clean under harsh light and water’s force that strips bare, opens throat for recorded choke and anatomy of homage [homme] a mage/ cloaked, lathed in unease                            &dire

strung up for a pretty dance: all the slutty girls pout their lips, tilt their hips & sing on cue like canaries, red breasted as robins, crooning like a swarm startled by a hawk eye

“And in the dead woman’s vulva there was the blue eye of God” -U. Zürn

 what dries, dries
the whole carton couldn’t be saved
but along the lines
a few cracked shells gave way
wherever she lies, she can no longer
hear it: here they stand still
here the dead move