Home after dark
I listen for the electric
pierce of the television,
for her slipper shuffle.

I wait to hear the tumble
of clothes in the dryer,
the kettle whistle
from the stove.

Not even a vacuum 
disturbs the silence;
I am late and want
to be forgiven.





He set fire to a bird
and as it beat out
past the orchard,
liquid eyes locked
into separate horizons,
it birthed a cry so fierce,

so human in its devastation,
flames rushing into the sound,
heat melting the shape
of its beak to nothing more
than hollow bone. Then,

with wings ravaged to kite
riggings, fire flanking its body,
it bowed its head and let fall,
the cinders touching quietus
to all the waiting trees.