Garbage Bag, Blackbird, Shadow Puppet
by Grier Phillips

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Garbage Bag

The cow's eyes move with me through the field, and with their eyes their head. Dumb creatures but not dumb, not by any means. They know I am there to steal through silver streams, light glint in their eyes, a cutting sickle. The jagged moon is jagged too. Inky wet noses breathe through it. Dumb, but not dumb, not by any means.

 

Shadow Puppet

Many people find ghosts are full of light, a shimmering nest of hands you can almost hold. But you come between the light, not through it. Your hinge hung, like a spider web, between this world and that. Turn your face, I cannot look at you. One of us must go back.

 

Blackbird

It was well known the song of sorrow outweighed the song of joy. The latter inherent in the other, the other had no need for the latter; it was complete, it was an origin. What fell in the middle was the smooth back of the bird, slick as oil and just as repellant to water, just as drawn to the flame.

 

Garbage Bag

The life of corn was disconcerting. Walls that shift and dark that breathes. There is no other place like this, there is no safety.

 

Garbage Bag

The cows know nothing beyond this, flanked by corn, and a road coming out. It is like living in the ocean – why go elsewhere. Their heads circle down to their circling jaws that circle the grass, that quiet, deep sound of descent, ears twitching not from sound but sensation.

 

Blackbird

Dark wove in and out of the stars like fingers laced together. Weave our hands together and only small diamonds of light come though. Weave our hands together and hold them close, between us and the night sky, we get diamonds through diamonds, darkness through darkness, weaving two skies: the one we know, the one we have created.

 

Garbage Bag

From the field, I see all the lights go out and it is not like the city. Here no lights are left if someone is not awake to use them. Like a constellation, burning itself up as it goes, I trace habits of families, watch the sequence of each darkened window. One by one, every house disappears completely. From the field, I make my own way home.

 

Blackbird

Between the wings of the blackbird is a solid silence where the sound comes from. The body of the blackbird has no name. It is no mistake that the ears are hidden and the voice is loud. When we hold each other's hand, there is a space between our hands that beats wildly between our palms. It grows louder as we walk along. Soon, we will not contain it and, opening our hands, add a bird to the sky.

 

Blackbird

We took a plane at night. It was the only thing full of light, and traveled through the air. It was how maleable time is, how easy. To bend one corner of the paper to the other, then again. How easy. To create something so simple as. I cannot wait to get there.

 

Garbage Bag

By the door was a jar of fireflies. It's so hard to catch things that fly. The jar is never bright enough; never as bright for as far as the field you took the fireflies from. But for a while, every night, there was a quiet knock at my door. When I went from dark to dark, there at my feet was a jar of fireflies, from the field, from you.

 

Garbage Bag

There were times when I mistook the hounds in the distance for my own hunger, felt as first the sound I heard came from within. When I began to meet the field at night, the sound went away. Where I had growled, the field lay quiet. Where I was, was was. Where I had been, is nothing.