The Swan in the Deck of Fortunes

by Holly Prado

death: one clear tone through wood.

here’s the apple tree my family left,
which was my childhood.  it’s nothing
more than thought.  but thought is music—
a wooden flute that is a thought.  to pray
for thoughts which then become a language:
a god’s death is, after all, impossible.

the other world loves repetition.  its animals
can learn, can grow the feathers and the graceful
necks they need so they can be inspired.  one
stick of wood, all air pressed into it, one sound
to memorize. I want to die prepared: I knew this young.

I knew this as a root, hidden, but a voice:
a life spent listening.

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