Magpies

Women with faces as vacant as dinner plates.
Housed women and women pretending to be crows.
Flocks of women rising in circles, owning the air
above trophies and cakes. Women whose faces are pages
of milk. Women as condos of granite and glass, built
for their views of the sea. Women as omens, carved
into the masts of ships. Women whose movements
are timed to keep pace with a tray of ice as it freezes. 
Women in nightgowns, watering elms
that were chopped down last spring to stop the rot
from spreading. At the edges of beds, women with their faces
in their hands, making the shapes of hung coats. Women
as love songs, violet and sinking. My sister standing
like a photograph of a girl, telling me a story
that always ends the same way.