Nine crows in five days.
And if there are six snakes, and one
shucks its skin, becomes incorporeal,
is the sky still forever with birds,
these birds that map the grass
with their black stains?
And when the corn comes down,
four field mice enter the house
and hide behind the kitchen sink.
Then come winter, one horse dies
and waits for spring to be buried,
mounded in a lump of white.
It snows in our lungs, and driving
down the road we see the flakes
drifting like dust in air. Last
winter the bridge was out
for nineteen days, and the widower
who hanged himself
was spotted by seven children
on a school bus.
And then, this morning, there were
spots of blood on two eggs,
more beads sliding on
the imagined abacus.
Or now our monologue
of moonlight makes of the field
this arithmetic of grief. At dawn
we count three deer at the field’s
edge, two fissures in the window
glass. And the crows count
slowly with each call: one, two,
three, four, five.