Two magpies

by Walter Bjorkman

mourn as one, chanting barn cackles from empty lofts. Outside, night woods choruses echo their sympathy. Paint my neck yellows, crimson and green, I scratch - bleed it black, I no longer feel. Lie forever on your side, I will bring tufted grass to your lips, you will not eat. Every seven years I move the soil atop your body, my withered arms turn over your bones. Left alone, they would never stir.