Maggie Queeney: Nox

A child teethes. Through the door,
a loop of scream and whimper

traces the length of the porch.
Morning, I find the blood

left by the raw gums rubbed
like a hand along the rail,

the floor, the frame and lock
to the front door. At night,

I stay inside, listen to the tap
somnolent in the pipes, the house drafts,

the moon pushing to perfect circle.
The birds curl into their fists

of nest, their small breasts hot hulls
above the shriek of owl-torn mice.

Animals take a human voice
in dying. Their wet tunnels of throat,

slick and holy as the inside of a flute,
bottom into the black running under.



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