Fragments

When dawn, wearing golden sandals, awoke me,

I began to crawl, burning, shivering, to my uncurtained window;

Migrating birds streamed over the dark sea.

 

Who can quench the ingenious fires of cruelty?

I was dreaming of white-fetlocked horses conferring in a meadow

When dawn, wearing golden sandals, awoke me.

 

On my stopped loom, a sort of landscape: icy

Peaks, serrated as daggers; a corpse, and beside it a crow,

And migrating birds streaming over the dark sea.

 

Fat, autumnal flies alight on my sheets, rainbow-hued, dizzy;

This one on my writst — its mandibles quiver, its givvous eyes glow…

Then dawn, wearing golden sandals, awoke me.

 

Merciless daughter of Zeus, immortal Aphrodite,

Come to me, sing to me, low-voiced, in sorrow

Of migrating birds that stream over the dark sea.

 

Cast aside your spangled headband: in my mirror I see

You beneath these stringy locks, puckered lips, and tearstained cheeks…go,

Migrating birds, stream over the dark sea;

And dawn, wearing golden sandals, awake me.

 

Mark Ford

Axé.


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