Advice from a Bat
Dress your wounds with cobwebs
because a pound of flesh
can only sop so much blood.
When you cannot name the man
who clots the moon’s wax light,
cower in the thumb of a glove.
Lie in the grass, tell an untruth.
If a man quiets your moonshine,
call him a blind pig, this because thirst
is a form of sentence, complex.
Lick the quicksilver off my chest.
Never say “dumbshow” as I deworm the sky.
Only a dog silently nips at a cancer.
Without a dewclaw, peal a doorbell
with your pocket knife.
No matter how many times you cut
the letter I in half, it is still the letter I.
What the Crane Wrote
Because the crane sleeps on one leg,
I gave it a piece of chalk, held the slate,
and said, “Write.” These are the crane’s words:
I can smell your soul.
It smells like the sun,
like an accidental lamp.
When you point, a rosette of flesh
blooms over your knuckle.
A scab is but a dried flower.
When I dream, a horse
stands on my chest,
like a beast, to ride
a more perfect sleep.
I have swum rivers
of clouds and climbed
mountains of birds,
but the duck is a lie.
How many keys must I swallow
before I can hold one in my throat?
I must have too much escape
in my stomach. Bury me in honey.
Ezekiel Black is a Lecturer of English at The University of North Georgia. Before this position, he attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he received an MFA in Creative Writing. His poetry and reviews have appeared inVerse, Sonora Review, Tarpaulin Sky, InDigest, Drunken Boat, CutBank, iO: A Journal of New American Poetry, Umbrella Factory Magazine, Barrelhouse Magazine, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, BOAAT, and elsewhere. Lastly, he edits the audio poetry journal Pismire.