Crow Missive (Poem by Risa Peris)

Music composed by Beethoven performed by Risa Peris


that’s all you need sometimes

a suggestion of death

like upselling at fast food joints

do you want fries with that


you see it on TVs and movies

a wreck of bodies like debris

just trash collecting and stinking

it’s imaginary that way

unreal real, real unreal

it’s in books too

terrible upheaval and pain

doesn’t seem as bad in books

it’s all learning in books

then mama…

tranquilizer haze, spittle on a frown

-I won’t be here when you get back

what the fuck do you do at 5

cry or gobble the sweets in the cabinets

tell a neighbor?

you hate the neighbors, they hate you

the guy next door always hugging you

then Kristi…

-My father touches me

I didn’t really hear her

why would I listen

she could have said she was orange

or from the planet of fuckall

fuzz in my head and noise

squawking like a volley of senile crows


I had my own problems…


deep rash of something bad

it drained the breath

need to nurse blue Kool Aid from a Star Wars glass

fall asleep as Benny Hill ogles matronly bras

that was my escape…

a dirty man coaxing nudity

I walked away from her


I had my own problems…


a week later she was dead

Kristi, Kristi, Kristi…

or was it Susan?

was it Saturday, no Sunday

mama read the article from the Sun

inky newspaper about matrimony

maybe stories about other countries

panama, el Salvador, iran contra

all of it was stupid to me

-Her father must have been touching her

staring into a plate of oily fried rice

slivered ham slices, tiny chopped onions

the rice quivered like maggots about to bust

about to expel chunky vomit

-Did you hear me?

that squawking again…

I wanted to bash my head on a salty carrick.

-Did your daddy touch you?

must have happened to mama

why else tell a kid about offing yourself


clear strike across the cheek, skin encased bone

quick blossom of heat and fear

scurrying off in Smurf shoes with Velcro snaps

rainbow bike lying in slimy water

santa claus had gifted it and I cried


Crossed a thin watered ditch with narrow frogs

A car was coming, just around the turn

Ice cream licking Asian man watching swirls melt

I steered right into the dull fender

Seeing his mouth go, slicked with sweet


That’s all you need sometimes, a suggestion of death.

Earthquake thundering wings fluttering all around me


A crow on a power line, glassy eye rolling

No angels, a dinosaur era missive

All becomes extinct.