How much rain must fall before we start calling it
a flood. Everyone looks the same drowning: Noah sent a blackbird
and a dove to do the same job. When a young girl asks a man
what this means he didn't get it: told her to leave
the birds alone and not dirty her hands or her flowery
dress. No one knows what truly brings peace: men wrote
that blackbirds are another word for death—shadowed feathers bring
bad omens. Yet all we’ve ever seen is dark eyes composing
melodies while resting on peaceful bones. This is sleep’s
low hum: the earth wasn't ready to wake from
its dream. So much of the body can sink
below the river with no one noticing. The body
is consumed by water at least once: even
the dead come up for air.
Ashley Mares is the author of Maddening Creatures (Aldrich Press, forthcoming), The Deer Longs for Streams of Water (Flutter Press) and A Dark, Breathing Heart (dancing girl press, forthcoming). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Stirring, Whiskey Island, Menacing Hedge, Whale Road Review, Prelude, Hermeneutic Chaos, and others. She is currently completing her J.D. in Monterey, Ca, where she lives with her husband. Read more of her poetry at ashleymarespoetry.wordpress.com and follow her @ash_mares2.