The Abacus

Breach the interrupted span
come down, shaken...on guard.
A number not unlike a name
is written on the bedframe-

counting each quill wilting
from the shoulder's ridge.

Higher up the ceiling
a flaw- a moth painted
into the flat faux universe
that the landlord built

a reminder: your wings
will not secure escape.

In the evening when
vision surpasses vision
quiet, crisp, clear as
Medusa's face; fixes stars

in their tracks, bends back
light in unatural horror;

the neighbor upstairs
pounding nails into walls
as if to barricade night
outside in its cage-

a reminder of counting
the stages of dying,

each withering quill,
every wasted breath
or nail. You lie still,
memorize the numbers

tatooed on the wood...
the score of feathers