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— so we said to the somewhat: Be born —
      & the shadow kept arriving in segments,
    cold currents pushed minerals
   up from the sea floor, up through
coral & labels of Diet Coke blame shame
         bottles down there —
     it is so much work to appear!

unreadable zeroes drop lamps
    as mustard fields [Brassica rapa]
gold without hinges, a vital
        echo of caring . . . On the census,
just write: it exists! Blue Wednesday
         bells strike the air like forks
    on a thrift store plate,
& the shadow moves off to the side . . .

In the woods, loved ones tramp through
    the high grass; they wait in a circle
         for the fire to begin;
they throw paper dreams & sins upon
              the pyre & kiss, stoking the first
   hesitant flame after touching a match
to the bad news — branches are thrust back
across myths before the flame catches —;
ravens lurch through double-knuckled
         pines & the oaks & the otherwise;
a snake slithers over serpentine
then down to the first
         dark where every cry has size —

               FOR EK & MS

Equinox Ritual with Ravens & Pines

Brenda Hillman

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translated from the Polish written by
Tomasz Różycki