Text: Debbie Deb, from “Lookout Weekend” (1986); Image: Edgar Allen Poe
Bring your servants close.
Nesting is not a time.
There is no damage here.
The brain is fine. The leaves,
fine. The wine is as black as ever
There is a pace
and it slows
and it sees
One slickens up to you, all
oil, to assure you of your substance.
This is all all all. Make a note
of it. Herein lies a balance
for yellow birds with black heads
and black moths with yellow heads
and all detritus of coming near
the realm of the dead—namely,
yellow and black leaves softened parting
So I am a pairing—I know my rules:
let sheep eat sheep and lions, lions.
Let Latins meet Greeks under patch-
work quilts. Let the vision plaid
for a bit
and the grapefruit had a bit
of death’s black and from my tear ducts
came grapefruit seeds, black
them Lord for they know not
what they do. Pity the lions and the locusts
Pity the animals—the day is a raze,
heat and wheat gathered into airy combines
of thrashing. The noise spins lions
in the air. My fair one falls
down to me on black ropes. No
one can see me, and hope is a thing
for birds and fools. I drool
on locust bouquets and steps
of honey. Come
Meet your master
in the dust; with his
one tooth, he drains
you dry. May you spin
here, scarecrow, among
the other straw-like things
planted in the dark earth,
swollen with light and time
Robert Fernandez is the author of We Are Pharaoh and Pink Reef. Scarecrow is forthcoming in spring 2016 from the Wesleyan Poetry Series. His (co)translation of Mallarmé, Azure, will be out from Wesleyan this fall.