'Stranger things' by Louise Nicholas | States of Poetry SA - Series Two

One minute the bird is cutting a curve – blue
in two, the swift repair of air – the next,
it’s glottal-stopped in the throat of a dog.
Beyond lies the dog’s muscled tongue-hug
forcing the bird in a slavered-leather
slide past the pharynx, down the gullet
into the gunge and gore of a slaughterhouse floor.

From their front row seats in the corporate box,
the Fates look up from cotton, cloth, and shears,
bite their juridical lips and then decree
that, just this once, one little bird need not
a swallow make. Instantly the dog,
acceding to their thumbs up, sputters a cough,
and from his yawning gawp                                     there flies the bird.



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