it devours them, the bright ones
it sits on their shoulders
an insistent invisible devil
it digs in its talons
a single magpie, brooding over its sorrow
stealing the shine from their insides
it empties their insides
leaves them hanging limp and drawn out
knotted and tangled
hard and hollowed out



it steals their breath and their glow and their life force
pecking at their life line
piercing their lungs
and stifling the rib-caged heart it hides under blackened wings
it flattens
brings its shadow into sunlight places
like a black smoke fire
scorched earth

it breaks the bright ones
breaks them down to parts


clawing at softness exposed
brutal exposure with no repose
no rest
building its stick and stone pyre on all sides
it gnaws
silent gnashing of jaws
bearing down by bites
take take take
followed closely by its black dog companion
the beasts darken the horizon
stalking in circles
growing steadily smaller
tightening grip

it frightens the mind
filling thoughts with smog
eye watering tear gas haze
whispered into inner ears
banish the blackbird
burn its smothering feathers
melt its hold and make it drown
plunge it as deep down
as far, dark down
as it tries to dig into you.


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