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Alms to Crows Some things become such a part of us that we forget them

— Antonio Porchia

They arrive all day in obsidian cloaks and slicked-back hair and wait with the eyes of misers, impatience of sages, their cross-talk like sitars with broken strings.

Inside, mother and I boil rice in coconut milk. We pat warm palmfuls into spheres, set them orbiting on a platter, light a clay lamp in its center. She tells me crows are celestial messengers made of dark matter shaped only by their containing vessels of air and light, that crows are inside us all like blind spots or retinal scars, behind our seemingly clear sight. She’s handing me a lexicon of the old ways we make a game of – the madrigal feast, the annihilation of pearly planet of ill-fortune. Beneath the dark gyres of their exodus, in a deep quiet, we become augurs reading claw-script on the ground.

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