by Rachel Dacus

After the moon's copper eclipse,
morning clouds cavalcade
along the hilltops, trumpeting the golden
news of the end of the world's
long night. Brava, brava!
The thunderclouds rise like hooded cobras

and drive me out at dawn, leaving
the dizzy spiders spinning. I live more
and more now in the transparencies of wind,
translating the click and whistle
of black-lidded birds on fence posts.

The day's gifts plummet around me:
lightning-lopped limbs,
split bark maddened with moss,
the roaring violets. In my pocket, the pen

rustles, giving out a muffled, prophetic
blast. I listen to the gliss words
make before leaving my mouth
and sweeping the ground with their wings.

Let the old fears flare
their black hoods, fanged and white-mouthed.
Let them sway like flowers on stems,
I wave back to the sun's attendants,
silken and shredded pennants of light.
This open housing suits me, as do

the trees' nodded compliments.
Let the cobras bite as they will.
Here's my breast. The sting won't last.
I'm taking back my kingdom.

Rachel Abramson Dacus' other collections of poetry are Earth Lessons, Femme au Chapeau, and a chapbook, Another Circle of Delight. Her poems, stories, essays, reviews, and poet interviews have appeared in Atlanta Review, Boulevard, Fringe Magazine, Many Mountains Moving, Prairie Schooner, Rattapallax, and many other journals. She lives in Walnut Creek, California. Read more about her at her website.

When asked to name her favourite fruit, Rachel replied, "cherries!"

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