By Jessamyn Birrer
The heart stops, then the lonely minutes begin
until the brain follows, taking thought and memory
with it, and the loss of those ravens is the loss
that matters, for all we spend a lifetime guarding
our hearts. That thought is but a kenning
for carrion, what the scavenger memory feeds
on and cleans away, says everything of love.
I tell you, I am with Odin: in fear for Huginn
at his daily flights, yet more anxious for Muninn,
that he leave me forever. For who can speak
of love, having forgotten? As the blood pools
where the body is lowest, as the muscles stiffen,
then relax, we eat our hearts out from the inside.
We have never truly known such stillness, will never
know it, knowing being a thing that vanishes
with the dark feathers of the mind.
Every night the television glows and its inhabitants
discover another body in the forest. I care only for mystery,
but can’t help wanting to see it undone. As one does
in love. Let me know you, let nothing be hidden,
not the earth under the fingernails, not the breath
caught in heat. Let no tremor or gasp go unrecorded,
though the record one day come to naught.
Jessamyn Birrer is an autism advocate, writing instructor, and poet. Her poems can be found or are forthcoming in Ninth Letter, Permafrost, and The Best American Poetry 2015. She lives in Klamath Falls, OR, with rhetorician Kari Lundgren.