are mice who went wrong
way back but flapped about, cutting      

        and pasting, adding and taking
away, until they got it right, so now     

        any mistake’s no big deal as they
do things their own way, sleeping      

        all day in attic and eave, coming
alive at dusk, intense morphemes in a  

        vast sentence to feel and feed
off the dark, make sense of night,

        returning at dawn to tie up to 
the same spot, dig in claws, wrapped

        in wings, settle down beside us,
and we might not know they’re there.

Brian Swanns most recent poetry collection is Imago (Johns Hopkins University Press), and his latest fiction is Huskanaw (MadHat Press). He teaches at Cooper Union in New York City.

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Published in the September 2022 issue: View Contents
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