Villanelle on
Norma’s Operation:

A crow flies, bent to the horizon,
and light shines through a crack in a door;
now the moon rises, a white flat medallion:

sawed-off skull-bone: strange, flat, Egyptian.

Down the hall, through door after door,
a crow flies, and the doors bend her in

and lead her through rooms burst open,
where she’s been and never been before–

now the moon rises on the line of the horizon;

she wears it on her brow, a bloody medallion
cutting a hole in her brain like a door;
as a crow flies the horizon folds her in,

and voices whisper, and Gods wander in,
where they’ve been and never been before–
now the moon rises, raw and vermillion,

defying sense and gravity again and again;

now a bone-white medallion, strange and familiar,
as she flies again where she’s never been
through door after door after door...

—Edwin Chapman