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July 2019 Vol. 15 No. 2

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Jonathan Humphrey

The Augur Of Cooked Birds

We brined the quail, then fried and served the lot with gravy over grits. Washed it down with cheap port. Benjamin, our resident vegetarian, spoke to the bird’s soul. Mentioned the face, the eyes. I fell asleep in a square of moonlight and was visited by Janus, god of doors. I can only describe his voice as having a fern-like softness. He smelled of wilted lavender and scorched earth. Both of his faces recited poems. I remember the one:

The way the moon and window kiss
until the two are infused

of such white essence that the window
orbits our small lives, pulls tides,

and the moon is peered into, opened
wide to wind-wafted honeysuckle

and the rasp of a dove inhaling
more, many, most.

I won’t be eating quail again anytime soon.

the moth’s face
about face