The snow-white owl with crimson eyes
came to sit upon my windowsill tonight.
Still and quiet like death itself,
I feel it in my head, with whispers as fine as spider’s silk
The ethereal thing leans forward and
With a singular tap,
Raps upon my windowpane.
I don’t want to see the wretched beast,
I close my eyes.
In the stillness, I can hear it
Rapping upon my window.
The sound booms, rushing in
and out of my head,
quaking my teeth and rattling my bones.
I am drawn to my feet,
I mean to scare it
I mean to make it go away.
Blood-red eyes locked on mine, the owl spreads wings as far as eternity.
I toss open the window, raise my hand to strike.
In an instant, in an endless second, I smell it.
Rancid meat ripe with maggots, the rusty musk of ancient blood—
the stench of plague is upon me.
Stricken, I stumble back
Feathers as light as dust drift across my brow,
filling my head with ancient echoes.
I fall to my knees and clutch my face,
Skin burning, cracking, torn asunder.
Throat choking on swollen, slack tongue,
Clotted blood drips to the floor over lips plumping, burst like ripe grapes.
My forehead blazes with fever-pitch terror,
Bowels clench in white-hot shackles
Delicate claws clutch my left shoulder
A beak caresses the inside of my left ear.
First a light touch, then heavier the owl becomes
As death descends on silent wings.