by Meg Kearney
Kearney. An Unkindness of Ravens. Curse
The difference between a raven and a crow is the intent of their blackness. The crow is a raven's shadow. The crow is a memory of a raven. Only a raven can transcend the raven to become a prophecy. We dream of crows but the raven lands in our bed, wakes us wide-eyed and sweating rivers, rivers of our body's water running hot between our breasts, hot across our forehead and into our own black hair. It's a river I'm drowning in now, a river fed by my own murder of crows, and I alone can save me. Two thousand years ago perhaps we rescued each other, and a thousand years ago a raven slid between us. Now here we are, clinging to opposite shores, each reaching a hand out toward the river's tongue, thinking somehow our tongues might save us this time, break the spell if we could just name it. I wish I could talk beyond surviving, beyond breathing, but I have a raven in my mouth, I have a river in my lungs and no name is coming to me, only blackness, the lateness of the hour, the sound of wings beating.