Throats & Skin

The time of night
wishes to be re-designated
the time of owls.

We pose in the dark
and snap photographs
without flashbulbs.

The moon is an acrylic
brush stroke
among a spray of stars.

The grass bends
under our feet
as it does during daylight.

In the house, over the mantel,
a photo of a great horned owl
watches everything.

Dora machines
the gravity well around
our grandfather clock.

This mechanical effect alters us—
kicks up his heels.

Dora’s mascara abandons her
to become
a police-dusted thumbprint on the wall.

She brushes a candle flame
against our throats and skin
to ward off the chills.

The time of owls is so cold
honey refuses to drip off the dipper
into my steaming tea.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

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