There rise the rain-bringing Sisters,
And there follows the Black Bull
Whose horns hold black nothing, and light
So old and heavy it seems full
Of nothing, and nothing in me
Answers with its own night,
Answers with my own dying fall.


Willow, wake and weep
Earth, my body keep


Too long since I dreamed of flying,
That wide ringing, that clear burst
That carried me, and carried—how
Was it lost? How was I cursed,
And once cursed, did I live, content
Beneath the willow bough,
Between the willow and the earth?


Willow, wake and weep
Earth, my body keep


I know no willow ever wept,
And stars shape only black space,
I know the earth keeps maggots best—
There's no love in its embrace.
My dreams are nothing in this world
But by this world possessed,
But for this earth I sing this last—


Willow, wake and weep
Earth, my body keep


(published, with the title "Fragment: Stella's Song," in The Louisville Review)


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