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Owl Song from Eating Fire by Margaret Atwood:

I am the ehart of a murdered woman
who took the wrong way home
who was strangled in a vacant lot and not buried
who was shot with care beneath a tree
who was mutilated by a crisp knife.
there are many of us.

I grew feathers and tore my way out of her;
I am shaped like a feathered heart.
My mouth is a chisel, my hands
the crimes done by hands.

I sit in the forest talking of death
which is monotonous:
though there are many ways of dying
there is only one death song,
the colour of mist:
it says Why Why

I do not want revenge, I do not want expiation,
I only want to ask someone
how I was lost,
how I was lost

I am the lost heart of the murderer
who has not yet killed,
who does not yet know he wishes to kill
who is still the same
as the others

I am looking for him,
he will have answers for me,
he will watch his step, he will be
cautious and violent, my claws
will grow through his ahnds
and become claws, he will not be caught.

and for a friend:
Rat Song

WHen you hear me singing
you get the rifle down
and the flashlight, aiming for my brain,
but you always miss

and when you set out the poison
I piss on it
to warn the others.

You think: That one's too cleaverl
she's dangerous, because
I don't stick around to be slaughtered
and you think I'm ugly too
despite my fur and pretty teeeth
and my six nipples and snake tail.
All I want is love, you stupid
humanist. See if you can.

RIght, I'm a parasite, I live off your leavings
gristle and rancid fat,
I take without asking
and make nests in your cupboards
out of your suitsand underwear.
You'd do the same if you could,

if you could afford to share
my crystal hatreds.
It's your throat I want, my mate
trapped in your throat.
THough you try to drown him,
with your greasy person voice,
he is is hiding/between your syllables
I can hear him singing.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 18th, 2003 07:43 am (UTC)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


deep sky, firefly

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