Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Galway Kinnell

from Another Night in the Ruins

I hear nothing. Only
the cow, the cow
of nothingness, mooing
down the bones.

Is that a 
rooster? He
thrashes in the snow
for a grain. Finds
it. Rips
it into
flames. Flaps. Crows.
bursting out of his brow.

How many nights must it take
one such as me to learn
that we aren't, after all, made
from that bird which flies out of its ashes,
that for us
as we go up in flames, our one work
to open ourselves, to be
the flames?

from Body Rags, Houghton Mifflin, 1968