Katherine Holmes


My languid window-ward glance
saw a many-winged angel
on a rooftop

but fury is four-shouldered. And at
the sideline, a pigeon hen cringes
above my head

watching rival spreading
of purple and blue elaborate as
silver-edged cards

while the males buffet in a cockfight
scenic as waves with rolled-up
foamy sleeves.

A tussle in celestial form
the longlasting world's
old fracas

the twig-building incumbent
and the insect-shift intruder
rising airborne

wings beating from the fulcrums
of the tandem tantrum

a fight so beautiful
that angels with six wings
seem plausible

and that they see why those below
the crystal clouds can't count
on a calm day.

Park Point Shore

They nose in like badgers
    the striped wide-backed waves
        snuffling, rapacious

pawing vainly for the beach.
    We the badger-like, we who feel
        badgered view this

from moated sand parapets
    Park Point with its stampede

sprawls chill fluid asphalt, severe
    Lake Superior. We are on badger
        brown ground near diggings

of brownstone and brickish ores
    and pines that burrow
        too. It calms us

to absorb principles of unending
    motion. Inert, gull-attended
        we lie in limbo before

the fixed limit, browning our
    bodies to a sandy badger.
        Streaks of white shield

noses, disguise eyes and souls.
    Badger princes and princesses
        on grained thrones,

we are exonerated during frigid dips.
    In the night, the legs are
        troubled, still feeling

the sea's slosh, its tilling claws
    that can caress. We await

from the kiss of one contented.

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