Morning Auspices
Maggie Colvett

Morning Auspices

Ask my birds where the gods have gone.
Hear the air howl in the throats of my roosters,
purple and green in the new-startled sun.
Witness them coming, blood-combed and bull-breasted,
splendid and sudden as lords of war.
Ask what their long curved knives are for.

See my hens take deliberate dancer's steps.
Watch their necks snap like whips
to devour the water bugs! Bodies delight them
and darken their yolks.
In their rattling throats
the long low purr of the world is rising,
taking on melody, breaking to caw.
Remember their hawks' eyes, their dinosaurs' feet.
They sleep a dark mass of heavy heat.
Ask my birds where the gods have gone.

Maggie Colvett

is the 2014 editor of The Mockingbird, the arts and literature magazine of East Tennessee State University. Her poems have been published by, or are forthcoming from, Hayden's Ferry Review and Architrave Press.