Silver salt stains into amber. Virgin to the north under the zodiac in the rose, we have read your instructions (yes fire, yes burn). Windows tell stories across the walls.
Orion’s sword begins life. Stars brew like glass, copper to ruby, manganese to purple, cobalt to blue. Iron makes green, sweetness and light. Blow, cut, slit, press,
my bone, my schist Venus. We work under you. Blue super giants’ elements get heavier in the core until they reach iron and cave in, and so of course we fear.
We read the stain, the heavy burn, as iris unfurling face and bells. Let us all be full of grace. Night falls like always in marble cascade. The sun pushes to morning. Then it cools.
Nocturnal mine, pillar and room, expectant air pulls into the lung. It is as dark there as the shaft where we have come, violet as under blackbird wings.
Old herbs, nectar, roots, flesh were crushed to coal. The lights surround like halos, and in the faith of moss and rain, swaddled in earth, we grind.
Threads of death wind deep under the song of red scraps marked with the crescent moon. Sour, the sun is hidden, rotten and pressed into bituminous form.
What little furniture in the room, and only coal to eat. It dusts the children’s hands until uncles take them off to raise. The oldest son we guess is dying, his lungs
with what is sung of eventide. He returns to the rooms in his mind, the bolts in the ceiling, a seam wide as a man and dark with pollen and spores, Crystal, Eureka, Ideal, Home Fire.
Angie Macri’s recent work appears in Adanna, Ecotone, and Salamander, among other journals, and is included in Best New Poets 2010. She was born and raised in southern Illinois. A recipient of an individual artist fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council, she teaches in Little Rock.