Afterwards, we asked the mystery
and were told nothing but starlight.
It spoke to the hinge of small bones
where memory reverses, the place
we must find you now.

Think what you might have done
under your pirate flag. Cut loose
on a torn map, this new route strains
its elastic and whispers detours
that don’t snap back.

Now that you’re gone we gossip
in proxy to sunlight and dogs.
We know for sure you are a crow
by the way dusk falls
from your back.

Like habit, your ghost lands
at the blue corners of sleep, rustles
jasmine on the window sill as if
a midnight kitchen walk
could offer solace.

Owls hoot back and forth
one stops — the other is me calling
you home. You, whose myth is a bird
at night but in my painting your lips
touch a coffee cup.

[Editor’s note: This poem is written in the Cadralor form]

Selected byRaymond Huffman
Image credit:Abhishek Dabur

Sara Clancy is a Philadelphia transplant to the Southwest.  Her chapbook Ghost Logic won the 2017 Turtle Island Quarterly Editors Choice Award. Among other places, her poems have appeared in Off the Coast, The Linnet's Wings, Crab Creek Review, The Madison Review, Misfit Magazine, Avatar Review and Verse Wisconsin. She lives in the desert with her husband, their dog, two ordinary cats and a psychotic cross-eyed one.