Every morning, the grass squeaks under my daughter’s wet feet and she attends the temple of crow. A black spot against the blue sky clutching his wire throne. Obsidian risen from lava to wing, where the light iridesces like the shine on a pearl. Hannah greets him good morning and tosses her wish for the day into his well. She says he studies her while the wish enters his eye and whistles down the flutes of his bones. I ask her where it goes and she says: towards a special place the crow and I share. When I ask her where that is, she says I can’t tell you, and when I her ask why not, she says because I don’t know how, and if I did, the crow would curse me. I think it’s the place where fledgling wishes are pushed from the nest into water. If they guzzle the whole ocean, they survive. If they drink once and wipe their mouths, they disappear. A wish’s truth is passion or perish. And for Hannah to tell me of their special place would be to break the spell. She tells me anyways, says that when a wish reaches the crow’s heart, he looks away from her and caws. He tests the wish, and if it survives him, he gives it back to her, and it circles in her, like the wind unwrapping the stones from a well. She says she waits for the wish to reveal its destiny – yes or no – and when it’s a good one, when it’s about to come true, the wish asks her if she’s ready to enter its world. Hannah is my wish, my good one, and I hope she will come true any day now.
Ricky Ray is a disabled poet, critic and editor who lives in the old green hills with his old brown dog, Addie. He is the author of Fealty (Diode Editions, 2019), Quiet, Grit, Glory (Broken Sleep Books, 2020) and The Sound of the Earth Singing to Herself (Fly on the Wall Press, 2020). He was educated at Columbia University and the Bennington Writing Seminars, and is the founding editor of Rascal: A Journal of Ecology, Literature and Art.
You can see more of his work in 8.4 and 8.4 and 5.3