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Caroline Misner

Lyric

There is a crack in the clouds
where sunbeams leak.
If I stand beneath their lustrous rays
will the sun shine done only on me?

The lyric of words I catch my tongue upon
in dark conformations burrow lightly.
I thought like the day I’d see you again,
but an early snow is coming.
The clouds have sealed their sirens
in a vault, grey as pewter
and weeping tears cold as steel.

Little baubles harden the earth
to a corpse embalmed in white moss.
The clouds come to smother my secrets
beneath this coverlet, soft as heather
and issuing silence.

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Learning to Die

Death is not sudden, death does not grieve,
Death takes a while to achieve.
Death comes in layers;
Death is the mouse
From under the couch
At three am, and from under the stairs.

Death is the tumour on my mother’s skin,
Death is a jackhammer pounding in.
Death is a scrabbling crab on all fours,
Death is a jaguar on rough padded paws,
Lurking in the oven doors,
And hiding in the bureau drawers.

Death is the lump within my breast,
Death is the invited dinner guest.
Death is the cadaver,
A slab of cold meat
That lies on a plate.
Death is the wall of frozen sleet.

[...] Read more

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I Witness A Raven

When the moonlight fractures the patterned frost,
in fragments chiseled into the glass,
shattering and refracting its battery
of light, in silent solace through my window,
I witness a raven through eyes
thick and glazed with sleep.
The night hermit probes his feast

of carrion, picking at entrails, a solitary
meal devoured beneath the round moon’s
undaunted glare, refracting the criss-cross
claw marks on the crust.
The boughs and branches
are furred with frost, casting their shadows
upon dunes of snow. He lifts his hollow

wings, a rancid clump of meat in his beak,
and springs upon a limb, scattering
the snow that’s sprinkled there;
the moon wears a ring

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Orleans

My sister was named Orleans
After the town where she was born,
Dear Orleans, my best friend,
A little girl with hazel eyes,
Dear Orleans, please don’t cry,
Hold my hand and stay with me,
And never say good bye.

My sister grew up beautiful
Like so many little girls do,
My sister Orleans, late one night,
Danced with a man named Lou.
Dear Orleans, please come home,
Mama and daddy and I
Are waiting here for you.

My sister never came home that night,
And daddy called the law,
Mama paced the floor till dawn
And wrung her hands till they were raw,

[...] Read more

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