Premonition

a poem by Jess Harrison

There is nothing left to see.

Tarred wings of a blackbird.
A goldfinch. A mourning dove.

There is a bay of frozen water
that traps a pier in moment. I sit
next to it, waiting for movement.

In the middle of winter, I unearth
all flooring from the house. Wrench nail
from board until all walkable surfaces
fade. Stuff the mailbox with letters lacking
postage. Make breakfast out of eggshells
& salt.

There is nothing like the time we waste.
Spent years that consume our veins.
The minuscule moments that darken
eyes, & solidify reaction.

I have dreams of a Cold War.
Of weapons composed of silence.

I saw my death. It was a fleeting panic.
Glassy eyes glaring up from under a solid
surface. An escapade of belligerence.
Falling through a weak spot of ice,
& getting trapped.

I put my hands out, as if begging
for freedom more than breath.
As if the thought of dying wasn’t
terrifying as much as the thought
of standing still.

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