Gustaf Munch-Petersen: The Lowest Country

in the midday sun

a bird sings

in a cage the size of a hat –


through closed gratings

pale song seeps –

thin voices sing

bent over sicilian embroideries –

along white and yellow threads

the words drip –

- - -

sixteen-year-olds – seventeen-year-olds –

gratings between them and the midday sun

and the morning sun and the twilight –


and one night

you might terror-stricken throw

the key to your gate down into a moon-filled street,

that you may see

the grapevines of the man writhe

in the midday sun –