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TRAVIS SHARP

LIKE CROWS

 

The people picked up the city and moved. The man and the woman took their neighbor’s house when they weren’t looking. The neighbors looking at the horizon. Someone leaving a baby on the sidewalk. People minding their bags. People leaving. Except the man’s parents who decided to wait it out. But, the man said. We’ll just ride through it, the man’s mother said. The man’s father nodded. The man’s father has never spoken in front of the man. Nearby, a house catching fire has caught everyone’s attention. The frame frozen.

 

They rode it out. The father built floating chairs. They sat in them for months as the water rose up around them between them underneath them on them in their skin. The mother made shapes in the water with her hands. Would you look at that, the father said.

 

Abandoned houses filling with water, tall buildings losing height by the day.

 

The man and the woman place their house on a small hill where there once was a farm. The man gets depressed. The woman can’t find her sister. They find a feral cat in what is left of the barn and domesticate it. They name the cat Stephanie, after the woman’s sister. They take turns petting the cat.

 

This is a nice view, the man says. It is, the woman says.

 

They receive news of Stephanie. The woman gets depressed. They start a garden. They enjoy sinking their hands into the earth. They enjoy grabbing the earth and removing a hunk of it, holding it in their fists, throwing it above them, getting dirt in their hair. They feel the dirt in their hair. They like it. They groom one another.

 

The man and woman get into an argument. They say hurtful things. The man cries. I didn’t mean it, the woman says. They have sex in the garden. They uproot plants. They re-plant them. The tomatoes won’t grow. It hurts the man’s feelings. The man takes it personally. The man takes it as a metaphor for something, he won’t say what. The woman asks for a back rub. The man massages the woman’s back. They exercise next to the garden while the cat naps on the porch.

 

They learn how to mend clothes.

 

They are nearly out of food.

 

They become wary of other people. They turn people away. They get good at saying no. This is the first time either has ever said no. They like the feeling. They smile. The woman licks her lips. The man licks the woman’s face. They steal food from travelers. Another plant fails to grow.

 

They get anxious.

 

They withdraw.

 

Like crows they speak in soft language only to each other.

 

Like crows. Like dogs. Like cows. They swallow and spit out. They eat grass when desperate.

 

Like large animals extinct monstrous animals like heavy dogs they think they are smaller than they are. That

 

is the cause of the

 

man takes it out on

 

the water there are floating houses a day’s walk from here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In someone’s scattered belongings, newspaper clippings:

things are worse than we predicted.

 

 

 

 

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Circle Poetry Journal///Ministry of Obscure Knowledge  ©  2015