Black Swan

Yes—I did see one once

I can’t tell you much about him. No—
not because he made me

swear upon some graven oath, and
no—not because

in his windswept ascent
he stole away with some dense

apportionment of my memory—memory
is not like that

but more like this: before
we ever met

already he had spun himself into being

beneath my skin—the coiled
tissue of a dream—yes—

back when dreams would seep
past the porous boundary

of my mind, before
they could take shape as dreams. Just

listen. What I mean to say is—
he did harm

as a god will do harm when he adopts
his earthly form

as a man, but even
as a lamb, as a swan—wings

dark like those of an angel sent
to ravage one

but not another household
entirely. Or to spare

some bodies and not
others as a means to ravage

one household—
our household—entirely.

It’s just that
I don’t remember. Or that

he pressed himself
into my sister

while giving himself
to me

in another form entirely.