Doug Ramspeck The Moon Opens & Closes Its Gates

& the lateness of the hour is a thin gauze kk& the moon a dead horse

above the river kk& the boys' dead father is chimney smoke passing

over the slanted roofs kk& the roofs are stooped shoulders

& at the funeral the scalpels of wind tear across the land

& the boys that night feel a twitch in their knees as they sleep

a loose fold of a dream flapping its hinge kk& they conjure

a kind of breath that knows to huddle quietly in doorways

that whistles faintly like the distant flares of cigarettes

& the boys pretend that their father is that crow that oars out

above the fields kkblack sails above the snow's belly

& they dream of dark tongues kkof the way stations of the dead

some beautiful murky language beneath the shaved skull of moon

& when they wake they study the ponderous slowness of the river


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