TuPac Shakur

Like the nation, the three a.m. bus is split:

two parts of the same arm. My headphones

hug my neck like a dog collar. The city

outside this window blurs into a rash

stream of wedded light. Iridescence. Heartbreak

on my mind, and for what holy reason?

No woman to throw me out of her life

in years, but the last pale, sad thing I witnessed

was two young men killing a crow for sport.

It was inglorious. Perched, lovely on its

phone pole at first, then its soft nosedive

to the earth. The dark angel, armed with light,

will forever muse my dreams of one death

in Las Vegas, and none to claim the deed.


Cup your hands around a small globe of wind.

Open your eyes and watch the dusk form—

one rash spreading vehemence over the sky.

Darkness: an invisible punch to the gut.

We cannot remark upon this admiration

for the ravens, owning the air

and circling over fists of smoke, or trees, or roofs on houses

along Colfax Avenue, where a strange man wanders

the roads, his home.  Animated,

like a battery-powered toy released

from a child’s hand, with his mind released

from the blinking dollar-sign. Our heads bend upward

as if these necks were not stems but hinges. Because of twilight,

we ask: Is there something in the death of day,

the ambivalence of dusk and void beating light?

The answer twists away— a wind

one shouldn’t pretend to own, like a strand,

a feather set free from amalgam, or the energy released

from its source. Listen to that, can you hear?

A stifled cry from the body beneath this spectacle

of countless, black, and feathered creatures

swirling around like metal flakes in water

above an invisible, indefinite eye, where lies

a dropped animal, sweet carrion, still breathing—

its form disappearing like all of us.

cody todd