The heart is pierced, and the trickle like dye blooms, bleeds to the edge, merges with, mutates into a larger stain, as round and rough-hewn as a millstone rolled away from the grave it gravely sealed, revealing an emptied-out space, absence when presence had been bargained for: call it an exchange, a ransom, a tribute to a brute god who thirsts for blood.
Do you listen to the misgivings of ravens, to the creak of hastily constructed gallows and crosses in April gusts, to the unruly noise of the mourners?
Or do you blot it all out with a pigment sublimed from burnt bones, a dark as yet divided?
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Eric Pankey is an award-winning author of ten collections of poetry, most recently Dismantling the Angel. Pankey’s writing has appeared in journals including The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, The Iowa Review, Sequestrum, The Yale Review, and others. His new book, Crow-Work is forthcoming in 2015. Pankey is Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University.