3 crows

— Anis Mojgani

Woke 3 times this morning, and not once to the 3 alarms I’d set. My body listens to itself & to the sun spilling itself over me.

Outside my house are two enormous Maple trees. In spring and summer they are draped in the most giant of emerald coats. Come fall the coats have been worn to threads, fallen and orange upon our lawn. By winter, the trees stand unclothed, brazenly. They must not feel cold.

The bookstore my mother used to own, that me and my siblings grew up in was on Maple Street in New Orleans. The leaves in Louisiana do not change colors. They turn brown and fall off. Fill the streets, flood the gutters with their dust.

Some mornings it is the two crows outside my window that wake me, cawing to each other, cawing to me, cawing to some unseen sun.

My mother tells me I am crow-like and I do not know why she says this.

Crows travel in pairs. Lately I have been seeing 3 crows together, different groups. I wonder where the extra ones have come from, where their partners now are.

My wife used to not let me leave the room without kissing her first. First once, and first a second time. I would make and pack a lunch for her every morning before she went off to work.

For the last 18 months of our marriage her lips do not touch mine.

In my dream this morning, my former father-in-law hugged me hard, said I needed to come have food with them. I wanted to say no but didn’t know how. I wanted to say yes but didn’t know how. I don’t remember what shape my silence took.

In my dream there were many of us with poems, in one book of thin pages, paper as if written on the skins of ghosts.

In my dream there were hallways behind the main rooms that I was wandering. Many people were on the other side of the walls. I do not know if I was trying to stay hidden or to stay lost. Either way I could hear voices on the other side, either way I wanted to see the faces, to know the bodies.

In the rowboat on the water my heart barks through the dark, at the fat white light held in your hands, the bullfrogs answering in turn. The water as well, rising to kiss the tips of our fingers. This is what is meant when sweet flower, I would ask you to dance. The sorrow steeps. Stepping into my chest like an ugly purpling bird picking at my skin.

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