Self-Portrait with Crow

As I punch the time-clock, I know
men will be gunned down at dawn
in a distant continent, someone
will dart into a café with a bomb nestled
in the belly, by the roadside a woman
will moan over the body of a man,
shrunken, stretched on the earth, that God
will finger the forehead of a dying country,
all of it funneled through the news on TV.
But tonight, instead of tuning in, I’m going to kneel
beside the window, recognize myself
in the croak of the crow, high above the black tree
of winter, claws hooked and rough, wings swept
back and hunched, face masked with exhaust.
I’m going to try, even if I fail, to see myself whole,
complete in the cry, in the beak of the crow.

William Archila, "Self-Portrait with Crow" from The Art of Exile.  Copyright © 2009 by Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe.  Reprinted by permission of Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe.
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