Elizabeth Dodd And It's the Only World There Ever Was. So Says William James

Sometime in the night the psyche
slipped outside. Was the screen
in the window knocked ajar? Did she see

some crack in the foundation?
I found her curled up, a sleeping
tree frog the color of dry bark,

though this too is illusion, since,
in point of fact, neither one of us had slept.

Last week she was a barred owl:
baleful glare across the distance, into the house,
and the wingbeat whuff
as she left.

She’d struck the window pane in flight.
Later I found feathers
dropped to the dry ground,
keratin husks and the velvet
curve where the body stops
and there is only air.

I imagine her casting them off.
One less unnecessary.

In this the only
world I know, the chemistry of stasis
casts uncertain shadows
while change ranges through its scales.

Or after dinner, set pieces and improvisations.
One measure. Two. And rest.

A cuckoo knocks,
wind-percussive,
against the forest’s shade.


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