Skin’s Dark Night Amy Pence


The night before an early
morning flight, I
can never sleep, but obsess
on my angry tethers to earth.

Night eases its tongues—
such remorse for the body’s lost
wings, a white lily burns
its delicious fabric on the inside
of my eye.

I try to excise regret
with a scaling knife: too much love
spent on cowards. Where are
the dead
I could not face?

                    Look for clues, always
the angel whispers,
holding me fast
to him. His wings, milk-blue,
flutter and quake
against me
until dawn.


February 2003 2River