augury, in the strictest sense

we walk through thunder,
and there are drawn stormclouds

across your cheeks, brow; like train-
tracks to nowhere, and i’ll hop

the next boxcar, simple as un-
wanting, follow it til i find

the sun buried in your irides.
this metaphor is a railroad:

straight, the slow
unraveling of sudden horizons.

a friend tells me
the story of the red-

tail hawk attacked
sequentially by two crows

and a mockingbird. i
wonder if it’s because they know

jealousy like you do, see its predatory
threat atop every lamppost and

telephone pole.
raindrops like fat clay pigeons hiss

against rusted rails, tear-on-trestle,
black-feathered bullets of omen:

where will you be
when the lightning comes down?


13 thoughts on “augury, in the strictest sense

  1. nice…some really great touches in this joanna….this metaphor is a railroad…the allusion to the story of the birds…and if they know jealousy like you….evocative, real…like it much…

    • ‘preciate it, brian. feel like i’ve been out of it with the writing and posting recently, but that’s passing. seems a while since you’ve been up to rva, no? hope all’s well & whatever sinus infection that was is gone by now.

  2. Love this! This year I have what I call the Indigenous ear for birds, notice the shadows of the big ones on the ground before I look up, etc. The sound of trains I can remember back the farthest. I was asked often to check out the Purple martins of Shockoe Bottom last summer. Some reason I wasn’t interested. If you have the time please let me know when this starts again if it does?


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