Blackbirds are scribbling in the winter heat of the trees.
You are accompanying reindeer over frozen water, a large cow
Collapses along a rising incline of rotten ice
With hundreds of animals, now both quick and shy,
Pushing you over into the pine woods
And then nearly into a darkening sky.
But the moon is lowering its threads, lucent with fat,
Into this dream you are sinking with,
And here among the night fires you being to worry
That the one moon passing like a needle through
The dreams of so many will no longer
Carry a sun. The cold dogs are barking.
You said that you woke, that you were both hungry and naked.
Then, you said, did I wake you? I’m sorry
If I did.
“The Amulet” is from Mercy Seat (Copper Canyon Press, 2001).