How The Living Behave

Erin L. Miller

I tell you of a dream I had: a man cuts
into a loaf of soda bread, and from the slight tear,

a small bird flies out. I decide it’s something to do
with the sure fact of my leaving.

We let the windows open, listen
to the heaving of trees

and before I raise my head to the turning
clouds, the rain wets the ground.

We pull the clothes from each other (a low,
inelegant song), unhinge our brassy mouths, stare

long enough to think we’ve figured the other out.
If someone were to arrive, just outside, they’d see

all the animals hiding, see how the living behave:
filling spaces for brief periods of time.

Our breath fills the room.
My ankle meets your ankle.

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