Melancholy in E Minor: After Dail's The Spectral Cow
by Ryan G. Van Cleave

    Away from stars, from the rain of light,
    orange music spills over him like milk,
    tokens of birth and his body remembers.

    There, beneath the tri-colored ocean skin,
    the iron legs of the cow do not flex--
    they are the same story, over, continuous.

    Locking their doors, the office workers
    huddle unseen, afraid of fog, of taxi fleets.
    Peripheral is the tale of their goodbye lives.

    Worst yet is the lightning, as it cracks the sky white.
    It is all the poor man below can stand.
    His sterile lungs, throat--air bruises him inside-out.

    Land without name, the life here is his,
    hand closing upon fistfuls of glass like diamonds,
    the coming of love, shriek of open copper sky.

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