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Clade Song 10

Multiple Layers of the Body

Now we come to the celebration of cranes.
I once was a crane. You were a crane. We all ate fish.

Hear my cry across Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province?
Feel the lower Yangtze basin itself into a vast migration.

Even an ordinary air burial blesses the snow.
The gliding rites of conifers and the crags of heaven pierce my bliss.

Any erratic movement—not just sipping fire from the bodies of dead lightning bugs—
     sends increased blood to the cells, to all the sleeping limbs, including the ghost-flock
     of cranes.
Stroke my black-speckled neck. Wingbeat the wind. Call me only by the first names
     each of the lamps have—in draining their oil—given the delirious bloat of gnats.

 

 

                     

 
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George Kalamaras, former Poet Laureate of Indiana (2014-2016), is the author of fifteen  books of poetry, eight of which are full-length, including Kingdom of Throat-Stuck Luck, winner of the Elixir Press Poetry Prize (2011). He is Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he has taught since 1990.