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RAVEN In memoriam E. A. P. Years like wings. What does the motionless raven remember? What do the dead close to the roots of trees remember? Your hands had the color of an apple ready to fall, and that voice which always returns, that low voice. Those who travel watch the sail and the stars they hear the wind they hear the other sea beyond the wind near them like a closed shell, they don't hear anything else, don't look among the cypress shadows for a lost face, a coin, don't ask, seeing a raven on a dry branch, what it remembers. It remains motionless just over my hours like the soul of an eyeless statue; there's a whole crowd gathered in that bird thousands of people forgotten, wrinkles obliterated broken embraces and uncompleted laughter, arrested works, silent stations a deep sleep of golden spangles. It remains motionless. It gazes at my hours. What does it remember? There are many wounds inside those invisible people within it 94 suspended passions waiting for the Second Coming humble desires cleaving to the ground children slaughtered and women exhausted at daybreak. Does it weigh the dry branch down? Does it weigh down the roots of the yellow tree, the shoulders of other men, strange figures sunk in the ground, not daring to touch even a drop of water? Does it weigh down anywhere? Your hands had a weight like hands in water in the sea caves, a light careless weight pushing the sea away to the horizon to the islands with that movement we make sometimes when we dismiss an ugly thought. The plain is heavy after the rain; what does the black static flame against the gray sky remember wedged between man and the memory of man between the wound and the hand that inflicted the wound a black lance, the plain darkened drinking the rain, the wind dropped my own breath's not enough, who will move it? Within memory, a gulf—a startled breast between the shadows struggling to become man and woman again 95 stagnant life between sleep and death. Your hands always moved towards the sea's slumber caressing the dream that gently ascended the golden spider bearing into the sun the host of constellations the closed eyelids the closed wings . .. Koritsa, winter 1937 96 ...


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